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J\.-N IRISH MELODY 




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LEGENDS AND STORIES 



IRELAND. 



BY 



SAMUEL LOVER, R. H. A. 



ETCHINGS BY THE AUTHOR. 



'* An ounce of mirth is worth a pound of souow .^^ —Chrononhoionthologos 
" Qui vit eans folic, n'est pas si sage qu'il le croit." — Rochefoucauld. 
*' Legend-i— Legend-o — Legend-um." — Boole's Termination*. 



DUBLIN : 

W. F. WAKEMAN, 9, D'OLIER-STREET ; 

BALDWIN AND CRADOCK, LONDON ; 
OLIVER AND BOYD, EDINBURGH. 

183L 



SIR MARTIN ARCHER SHEE, P. R. A. 

A PAINTER— A POET— AND AN IRISHMAN, 

THIS VOLUME 

IS VERY RESPECTFUIiLY INSCRIBED, 

BY 

THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 



Though the sources whence these Stories are 
derived are open to every one^ yet chance or choice 
may prevent thousands from making such sources 
available ; and, though the village crone and moun- 
tain guide have many hearers, still their circle 
is so circumscribed, that most of what I have ven- 
tured to lay before my readers, is, for the first 
time, made tangible to the greater portion of those 
who do me the favour to become such. 

In one story, alone, (Paddy the Piper,) I have no 
claim to authorship ; and this I take the earliest 
opportunity of declaring, although I have a distinct 
note to the same effect, at the end of the article 
itself ; and, as I have entered upon my confessions, 
it is, perhaps, equally fair to state, that although 
most of the tales are authentic, there is one, purely 
my own invention, namely, " The Gridiron." 

Many of them were originally intended merely 
for the diversion of a few friends round my own 



Vlll PREFACE. 

fire-side — there, recited in the manner of those 
from whom I heard them, they first made their 
debut, and the flattering reception they met on so 
minor a stage, led to their appearance before larger 
audiences — subsequently, I was induced to publish 
two of them in the Dublin Literary Gazette, and 
the favourable notice from contemporary prints, 
which they received, has led to the publication of 
the present volume. 

I should not have troubled the reader with this 
account of the "birth, parentage, and education" 
of my literary bantlings, but to have it understood 
that some of them are essentially oral in their 
character, and, I fear, suff*er materially when re- 
duced to writing. This I mention en passant to 
the critics ; and if I meet but half as good natured 
readers as I have hitherto found auditors ^ I shall 
have cause to be thankful. But, previously to the 
perusal of the following pages, there are a few ob- 
servations that I feel are necessary, and which I 
shall make as concise as possible. 

Most of the Stories are given in the manner of 
the peasantry ; and this has led to some peculiari- 
ties that might be objected to, were not the cause 
explained — namely, frequent digressions in the 
course of the narrative, occasional adjurations, 
and certain words unusually spelt. As regards 
the first, I beg to answer, that the stories Avould 
be deficient in national character without it ; — the 



PREFACE. IX 

Irish are so imaginative, that they never tell a 
story straight forward, but constantly indulge in 
episode : for the second, it is only fair to say, that 
in most cases, the Irish peasant's adjurations are 
not meant to be in the remotest degree irreverent, 
but arise merely from the impassioned manner of 
speaking, which an excitable people are prone to ; 
and I trust that such oaths as '^ thunder-and-turf,' 
or maledictions, as ^ bad cess to you,* will not be 
considered very offensive. Nay, I will go farther, 
and say, that their frequent exclamations of "^ Lord 
be praised,' — ^' God betune uz and harm," &c. 
have their origin in a deeply reverential feeling, 
and a reliance on the protection of Providence. As 
for the orthographical dilemmas into which an 
attempt to spell their peculiar pronunciation has 
led me, I have ample and most successful prece- 
dent in Mr. Banim's works. Some general obser- 
vations, however^ it may not be irrelevant to intro- 
duce here, on the pronunciation of certain sounds 
in the English language by the Irish peasantry. 
And here I wish to be distinctly understood, that 
I speak only of the midland and western districts 
of Ireland — and chiefly of the latter. 

They are rather prone to curtailing their words ; 
ofy for instance, is very generally abbreviated into 
o' or I J except when a succeeding vowel demands 
a consonant; and even in that case they would 
substitute v. The letters d and t as finals, they 

a3 



X PREFACE. 

scarcely ever sound ; for example^ pond;, hand;, 
slept, kept, are pronounced /;o«, han, slep, kep. 
These letters, when followed by a vowel, sre 
sounded as if the aspirate h intervened, as tender, 
letter, tindher, letther. Some sounds they sharpen, 
and vice versa. The letter e, for instance, is 
mostly pronounced like i in the word litter, as Unci 
for lend, mind for mend, &c. ; but there are ex- 
ceptions to this rule : — Saint Kevin, for example, 
which they pronounce Kavin. The letter o they 
sound like a in some words, as off, aff or av, thus 
softening the /into v — beyond, bey ant, thus sharp- 
ening the final d to t, and making an exception 
to the custom of not sounding d as a final — in 
others, they alter it to ow, as old, ov)ld. Sometimes 
o is even converted into i, as spoil, spile. In a 
strange spirit of contrariety, while they alter the 
sound of e to that of /, they substitute the latter 
for the former sometimes, as hinder, hendhei^ — 
cinder, cendher ; s they soften in z, as us, uz. 
There are other peculiarities which this is not an 
appropriate place to dilate upon. I have noticed 
the most obvious. Nevertheless, even these are 
liable to exceptions, as the peasantry are quite go- 
verned by ear, as in the case of the word vf, 
which is variously sounded o', i', ov, av, or iv, as 
best suits their pleasure. 

It is unnecessary to remark how utterly unsys- 
tematic I have been in throwing these few re- 



PREFACE. XI 

marks together. Indeed to classify (if it were ne- 
cessary) that which has its birth in ignorance^, 
would be a very perplexing undertaking. But I 
wished to notice those striking peculiarities of the 
peasant-pronunciation, which the reader will have 
frequent occasion to observe in the following 
pages ; and, as a further assistance, I have added 
a short glossary. 



INTRODUCTION. 



After my Stories were printed, I began to think 
what name I should give the volume, and this 
has puzzled me more than writing it. Though 
the matter in the following pages is perfectly new, 
and unlike any thing that has gone before it, yet 
the name that I have been obliged to adopt, might 
lead the public to infer that a certain resemblance 
cannot but attach, where a similarity of title ex- 
ists, and that a family likeness must follow a 
family name. This, I beg to say, is not the case, 
and with the extensive family of " Legends," (fairy 
or otherwise,) " Stories," " Traits," " Sketches," 
&c. there is not a relationship, even within the 
seventh degree. So much the worse, perhaps, for 
its goodness ; but I am anxious to plead for its 
novelty only, and therefore has giving it a name 
been no small trouble to me. 

*» What's in a name ?" 
says Shakspeare ; — but did he live in our days, he 
would know its value. In wliatsoever light you 



XIV INTRODUCTION. 

view it — in whatsoever scale it may be weighed — 
name is a most important concern now-a-days. 
In fashion^ (place mix dames,) literature^ politics^ 
arts, sciences, &c. &;c. name does wonders ; — it 
might almost be said, every thing — whether for 
the introduction of a measure in Parliament, or in 
the length of a waist, for the success of a bad 
book, a new system, or an old picture. 

Name, like the first blow, is half the battle. 
Impressed with this conviction, every huxter now 
calls his hovel a provision store — a barber's 
shop is elevated into a Magasin des Modes — the 
long line of teachers, under the names of French 
master, dancing-master, fencing-master, music- 
master, and all the other masters, have dignified 
themselves with the self-bestowed title of " pro- 
fessor" — a snufF-and-tobacco shop is metamor- 
phosed, for the benefit of all 'Hrue believers," into 
a ^'^ cigar diva?i ;' — and, in St. Stephen's-green, 
who does not remember the " Pantheon Phusi- 
TEKNiKON?" which, being rendered into English by 

Mr. B , the ironmonger, proprietor of the same, 

meant — '' Pots, pans, and kettles to mend." 

Nay, the very venders of soaps, cosmetics, and 
wig-oil, seem to understand the importance of this 
pass to public patronage, and storm its difficult 
heights, accordingly, with the most jaw-breaking 
audacity. We have Rowlandson's Kalydor — Turk- 
ish Sidki — Areka, or Betel-nut Charcoal — Milk 



INTRODUCTION. XV 

of Roses, See. &c. A circumnavigation of the globe 

is undertaken to replenish their vocabularies, and 

the Arctic regions are ransacked for '^ Bears' 

Grease," and the Tropics are rifled for " Macassar 

Oil." 

Enviable name ! Thou shalt live to future 

ages, when thy ingenious inventor shall be no 

more ! — when the heads thou hast anointed shall 

have pressed their last pillow ! Nay, when the 

very humbug that bears thy name shall have fallen 

into disuse — thou, felicitous name, shalt be found 

embalmed in " immortal verse," for the mighty 

Byron has enshrined thee in his couplets : — 

" In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her. 
Save thiue ' iucomparable oil,* Macassar.'' 

So saith Byron of Donna Inez. 

Descending still lower than the venders as afore- 
said noticed, the very dogs are concerned in this 
all-important thing, a name ; for you know the 
memorable old saying, that declares, " You may 
as well kill a dog, as give him a bad name." 

Pardon, then, the anxiety of an unfortunate dog 
like me, for some name that may lift him out of 
his own insignificance ; or, to pursue the image, 

may " help a lame dog over the stile." But 

a name that I could wish for my book is not to 
be had ; so many authors have been before me, 
that all the good names are gone, like the good 
hats at a party. I therefore must only put the 



XVI INTRODUCTION. 

best that is left on the head of my poor little book, 
and send it into the world to take its chance. 
But, lest any prejudice should arise against it, 
from wearing a caubeen instead of a beaver, I 
had better tell my readers what they shall find in 
the following pages. And as, in the Island of 
Laputa, there were certain functionaries called 
"flappers," whose duty it was to keep people 
alive to their business, by hitting them in the face 
with bladders charged with air and a few peas, I 
am now going to undertake the office of flapper, to 
awaken people to a notion of what they are to ex- 
pect in the terra incognita before them, though I 
shall not indulge in so inflated a manner of doing 
so as the Laputans. 

But time is a treasure, (though one would not 
suppose I think so, from the way in which I am now 
wasting it,) and as its return is beyond our power, 
we should not take that from others which we can- 
not restore. Don't be afraid, sweet reader : — I am 
not soing: to moralise — it is what I am seldom 
guilty of; besides, you might, haply, think of 
Monsieur Jacques, when you hear 

*' The fool thus moralise upon the time ;" 

and I have no desire that '^ your lungs begin to 
crow like Chanticleer" at me, however I hope 
they may at my stories. 

But to the point. I do not wish, I say, to 



INTRODUCTION. XVll 

swindle respectable gentlemen or ladies out of 
their time ; therefore, I beg to recommend all 
serious persons — your masters of arts, your ex- 
plorers of science, star-gazing philosophers, and 
moon-struck maidens, L. L. D.'s, F. R. S/s, and all 
other three-letter gentlemen, to lay down this 
book, even at this very period. But, if you be of 
the same mind with that facetious gentleman, 
Rigdum Funnidos, and agree with him, that 
** An ounce of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow," 

then, I say, you may as well go on, and throw 

away your time inlaughing at my book as in any 

other way whatsoever. 

Deep in the Western wilds of Ireland have I 

been gathering those native productions called 

Rigmaroles, to contribute to your pleasure. If 

you be a lover of rhodomontade, or, as Paddy calls 

it, Roger montade^ you had better, in true Irish 

fashion, '' take a short stick in your hand," and 

trudge away boldly through my duodecimo. As 

for ladies who are 

" Darkly, deeply, beautifully blue, 
As some one somewhere sings about the sea, 
(Excuse me, Byron, that I steal from you) — 
Do not, like Nanny — do not ' gang with me ;' " 

."or there are no raptures nor Italian quotations for 
you. But, if you have not outlived the charm 
which the wonders of the nursery tale produced, 
or if vou are yet willing to commit such a vulgar- 



XVlll INTRODUCTION. 

ism as a laugh, pray take my arm, and allow me 
to lead you into the next page. 

I would say a great deal more, but that I fear, 
instead of fulfilling my office of " flapper," I should 
only set people to sleep. I shall therefore con- 
clude, by saying a word or two about the illustra- 
tions. 

They are my first attempts upon copper ; and 
whatever affinity there may be between that and 
brass, which, thanks to my country, I may not be 
so much unused to, yet I can assure the critics 
there is a marvellous difference between etching 
and impudence. Let me not be accused then of 
the latter, in having attempted the former, but 
some indulgence be granted to a coup d'essai. 
So much for the executive part ; and, for the de- 
signs, I beg to say a few words more, which I shall 
offer in the form of a 

Botict 

to the 

antiquarian ^otitt^. 

Should any such august personage as an Anti- 
quary chance to cast his eyes over the illustrations 
of this little book, it is humbly requested that his 



INTRODUCTION. XIX 

repose be not disturbed in fancied anachronisms in 
the costumes. We say, fancied, for considerable 
pains have been bestowed in ascertaining the true 
style of dress in which each of our heroes flourish- 
ed, from the narrators of their several histories — 
and who could possibly know so well ? 

Upon the testimony of the aforesaid credible 
authority. King O'Toole wore a snutF-coloured, 
square-cut coat, with hanging sleeves, and silver 
buttons — black velvet inexpressibles, trunk hose, 
and high-heeled shoes, with buckles. 

This monarch is said to have had a foible (what 
monarch is without?) in paying particular atten- 
tion to his queue, of which he was not a little vain. 
He constantly, moreover, wore a crown upon his 
head, which Joe Irwin protested was '^ full half a 
hundred weight o' goold." Had this fact been 
known to the commentators upon Shakspeare, they 
might have been better able to appreciate that line 
of the immortal bard's — 

'* Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown !" 

Saint Kevin had a little failing of his own also, 
— an inconsiderate indulgence in smoking, which 
all antiquaries are aware, is an ancient usage in 
Ireland. The pipe in his hat, therefore, is especi- 
ally indicative of the Saint. It is further under- 
stood, (such pains have been taken to be accurate,) 
that the Saint "blew his cloud" fron the corner of 



XX INTKODUCTION. 

his mouth, and not directly forwards, as commonly 
practiced. In what slight things is character de- 
veloped ! — It is quite natural that a circumventing 
person, like Saint Kevin, should have dealt in the 
pifff oblique. 



CONTENTS. 



King O'Toole and Saint Kevin. — A Legend of 

Glendalough ... ... .. ... 1 

Lough Corrib ... ... 15 

MS. from the Cabinet of Mrs. 18 

The White Trout.— A Legend of Cong ... 29 

The Battle of the Berrins 41 

Father Roach 57 

The Priest's Story 64 

The King and the Bishop, — A Legend of Clon- 

macnoise ... ... ... ... ... 75 

An Essay on Fools ... ... 92 

The Catastrophe 101 

The Devil's Mill 122 

The Gridiron 13G 

Paddy the Piper 148 

The Priest's Ghost 161 

New Potatoes. — An Irish Melody 166 

Paddy the Sport 176 

Ballads and Ballad Singers 203 



GLOSSARY. 



Alpeen — A cudgel. 

Bad Scram — Bad food. 

Bad Win' \ Malediction. Cess is an abbreviation 

Bad Cess J of success. 

Baithebshin* — It may be so. 

Ballveag — To scold. 

Caubeen — An old hat. Strictly, a little old hat. 

Een, in Irish, is a diminutive. 
Colleen Dhas — Pretty girl. 
Cometheb — Corruption of come hither. Putting 

his comether means forcing his acquaintance. 
Go3i3iocH — A simpleton. 
Haud Wobd — Hint. 
Hunkebs — Haunches. 
KiMMEENS — Sly tricks. 
Machbee — My dear. 
Mavoubneen — My darling. 



* This I have spelled as it is pronounced. The correct 
spelling of the phrase would be a very pu/zling concern in- 
deed, as, in the original, it is equally complex in construction 
to the French gu'est ce que c'est que cela. I have pursued the 
same rule with all the other Irish expressions in the Glos- 
sary : — First, because the true spellings are very unlike 
the sounds ; Weira, for instance, is written, in Irish, Mhuira 
— and next, because my object is only to give the reader an 
explanatory reference to the " Stories," not to write an 
Irish vocabulary, which, indeed, I am not prepared to do. 



GLOSSARY. 

MusHA ! — An exclamation, as ^"Oh, my !" '-'Oh, 
La!" 

Noggin — A small wooden drinking vessel. 

Phillelew — An outcry. 

Spalpeen — A contemptible person. 

Stravaig — To ramble. 

Ulican — The funeral cry. 

Wake — Watching the body of the departed pre- 
viously to interment. 

Weirasthru! — Mary, have pity! 



Directions to the Joinder for placing the Plates, 

New Pittay-a-tees Frontispiecf. 

Kino O'Toole and St. Kevin to face page 11 

The White Tkout 3S 

The King and the Bishop 80 

The Gridiron 14^7 

Paddy the Sport 1^<* 



he has been by Moore in the melodies of his native 
landj with whose wild and impassioned music he has 
so intimately entwined his name ? Through him, in 
the beautiful ballad whence the epigraph of this story 
is quoted;, the world already knows that the sky-lark, 
through the intervention of the saint, never startles 
the morning with its joyous note, in the lonely valley 
of Glandalough. In the same ballad the unhappy pas- 
sion which the saint inspired, and the "unholy blue" 
eyes of Kathleen, and the melancholy fate of the 
heroine by the saint's being " unused to the melting 
mood," are also celebrated ; as well as the supersti- 



a KING O TOOLE 

tious finale of the legend,, in the spectral appearance 
of the love-lorn maiden. 

" And hei ghost was seen to glide 
Gently o'er the fatal tide.'' 

Thus has Moore given, within the limits of a ballad, 
the spirit of two legends of Glendalough, which 
otherwise the reader might have been put to the trou- 
ble of reaching after a more round-about fashion. 
But luckily for those coming after him, one legend 
he has left to be 

'« touched by a hand more unworthy "— 

and instead of a lyrical essence, the raw material in 
prose is offered, nearly verbatim as it was furnished 
to me by that celebrated guide and bore, Joe Irwin, 
who traces his descent in a direct line from the old 
Irish kings, and warns the public in general that 
'^ there 's a power of them spalpeens sthravaigin' 
about, sthrivin' to put their comether upon the 
quol'ty, (quality,*) and callin' themselves Irwin, 
(knowin*, the thieves o' the world, how his name had 
gone far and near, as the rale guide,) for to deceave 
dacent people ; but never for to b'lieVe the likes — for 
it was only mulvatherin people they wor." For my 
part, I promised never to put faith in any but him- 
self; and the old rogue's self-love being satisfied, we 
set out to explore the wonders of Glendalough. On 
arriving at a small ruin, situated on the south-eastern 
side of the lake, my guide assumed an air of impor- 

* The Irish peasantry very generally call the higher orders ' quality.' 



AND SAINT KEVIN. 3 

tance, and led me into the ivy-covered remains, 
through a small square doorway, whose simple struc- 
ture gave evidence of its early date : a lintel of 
stone lay across two upright supporters, after the 
fashion of such religious remains in Ireland. 

" This, Sir," said my guide, putting himself in an 
attitude, "is the chapel of King O'Toole — av coorse 
y'iv often heerd o' King O'Toole, your honor ?" 

'^^ Never," said I. 

" Musha, thin, do you tell me so ?" said he ; " by 
Gor, I thought all the world, far and near, heerd o' 
King O'Toole — well! well!! but the darkness of 
mankind is ontellible. Well, Sir, you must know, as 
you didn't hear it afore, that there was wonst a king, 
called King O'Toole, who was a fine ould king in the 
ould ancient times, long ago ; and it was him that 
ownded the churches in the airly days." 

" Surely," said I, " the churches were not in King 
O'Toole's time ?" 

" Oh, by no manes, your honor — troth, it's yourself 
that's right enough there ; but you know the place 
is called ' The Churches,' bekase they wor built afther 
by St. Kavin, and wint by the name o' the churches 
iver more ; and therefore, av coorse, the place bein' 
so called, I say that the king ownded the churches 
—and why not Sir, seein' 'twas his birthright, time 
out o' mind, beyant the flood ? Well, the king, you 
see, was the right sort — he was the rale boy, and 
loved sport as he loved his life, and huntin' in par- 
tic'lar; and from the risin' o' the sun, up he got, 

B 2 



4 KING O TOOLE 

and away he wint over the mountains beyant afther 
the deer : and the fine times them wor ; for the deer 
was as plinty thin, aye throth, far plintyer than the 
sheep is now; and that's the way it was with the king, 
from the crow o' the cock to the song o' the redbreast." 

" In this counthry. Sir/* added he, speaking paren- 
thetically in an under tone, '' we think it onlooky to 
kill the redbreast, for the robin is God's own bird." 

Then, elevating his voice to its former pitch, he 
proceeded: — 

" Well, it was all mighty good, as long as the king 
had his health ; but, you see, in coorse o' time, the 
king grewn owld, by raison he was stiiF in his limbs, 
and when he got sthricken in years, his heart failed 
him, and he was lost intirely for want o' divarshin, 
bekase he couldn't go a huntin' no longer ; and, by 
dad, 'the poor king was obleeged at last for to get a 
goose to divart him." 

Here an involuntary smile was produced by this 
regal mode of recreation, " the royal game of goose." 

'' Oh, you may laugh, if you like," said he, half 
affronted, "but it's truth I'm tellin' you; and the way 
the goose divarted him was this-a-way : you see, the 
goose used for to swim acrass the lake, and go down 
divin' for throut, (and not finer throut in all Ireland 
than the same throut,) and cotch fish an a Friday for 
the king, and flew every other day round about the 
lake, divartin' the poor king, that you'd think he'd 
break his sides laughin' at the frolicksome tricks av 
his goose; so in cooise o' time the goose was the 



AND SAINT KEVIN. 5 

greatest pet in the counthry, and the biggest rogue, 
and divarted the king to no end, and the poor king 
was as happy as the day was long. So that's the 
way it was ; and all went on mighty well, antil, by 
dad, the goose got sthricken in years, as well as the 
king, and grewn stiff in the limbs, like her masther, 
and couldn't divart him no longer; and then it was 
that the poor king was lost complate, and didn't 
know what in the wide world to do, seein' he was 
done out of all divarshin, by raison that the goose 
was no more in the flower of her blume. 

" Well ; the king was nigh hand broken-hearted, 
and melancholy intirely, and was walkin' one mornin 
by the edge of the lake, lamentin' his cruel fate, an 
thinkin' o' drownin' himself, that could get no divar- 
shin in life, when all of a suddint, turnin' round the 
corner beyant, who should he meet but a mighty 
dacent young man comin' up to him. 

" ' God save you,' says the king (for the king was 
a civil-spoken gintleman, by all accounts,) ' God 
save you,' says he to the young man. 

" ' God save you, kindly,' says the young man to him 
back again, *God save you,' says he, ^King O'Toole.' 

" ' Thrue for you,' says the king, ' I am king 
O'Toole,' says he, ' prince and plennypennytinchery 
o' these parts,' says he ; ^ but how kem you to know 
that ?' says he. 

" ' O, never mind,' says Saint Kavin. 

" For you see," said old Joe, in his under tone 
again, and looking very knowingly, " it was Saint 



6 KING o'tOOLE 

Kavin^ sure enough — the saint himself in disguise, 
and no body else.' ' Oh, never mind,' says he, ' I 
know more than that,' says he, ' nor twice that.' 

" ' And who are you ?' said the king, ' that makes 
so bowld — who are you at all at all ?' 

" ' Oh, never you mind,' says Saint Kavin, ' who 
I am ; you'll know more o' me before Ave part. King 
O'Toole,' says he. 

" ' I'll be proud o' the knowledge o' your acquaint- 
ance, sir,' says the king, mighty p'lite. 

" ^ Troth, you may say that,' says Saint Kavin. 
' And now, may I make bowld to ax, how is your 
goose. King O'Toole?' says he. 

" * Blur-an-agers, how kem you to know about my 
goose ?' says the king. 

" ' O, no matther ; I was given to undherstand it/ 
says Saint Kavin. 

" ' Oh, that's a folly to talk,' says the king ; ' be- 
kase myself and my goose is private frinds,' says 
he ; ^ and no one could tell you,' says he, ' barrin' 
the fairies.' 

" ' Oh thin, it wasn't the fairies,' says Saint Kavin j 
for I'd have you to know,' says he, ^ that I don't 
keep the likes of sitch company.' 

'' ' You might do worse then, my gay fellow,' says 
the king; 'for it's ^Ae^ could show you a crock o' 
money, as aisy as kiss hand; and that's not to be 
sneezed at,' says the king, ' by a poor man,' says he. 

" ' Maybe I've a betther way of making money 
myself,' says the saint. 



AND SAINT KEVIN. 7 

" ^ By gor,* says the king, ' bar rin' you're a eoiner/ 
says he, 'that's impossible !' 

" ' I'd scorn to be the like, my lord !' says Saint 
Kavin, mighty high, 'I'd scorn to be the like,' says he. 

'' ' Then, what are you V says the king, ' that 
makes money so aisy, by your own account.' 

'' ' I'm an honest man,' says Saint Kavin. 

" ' Well, honest man,' says the king, ' and how is 
it you make your money so aisy.^' 

" ' By makin' ould things as good as new,' says 
Saint Kavin. 

" ' Blur-an-ouns, is it a tinker you are ?' says the 
king. 

" ' No,' says the saint ; ' I'm no tinker by thrade. 
King O'Toole ; I've a betther thrade than a tinker,' 
says he — ' what would you say, says he, ' if I made 
your ould goose as good as new.' 

'' My dear, at the word o' makin' his goose as good 
as new, you'd think the poor ould king's eyes was 
ready to jump out iv is head, ' and,' says he — ' troth 
thin I'd give you more money nor you could count,' 
says he, ' if you did the like : and I'd be behoulden 
to you into the bargain." 

" ' I scorn your dirty money,' says Saint Kavin. 

" ' Faith then, I'm thinkin' a thrifle o' change 
would do you no harm,' says the king, lookin' up sly 
at the ould caubeen that Saint Kavin had an him. 

" ' I have a vow agin it,' says the Saint ; ' and I 
am book sworn,' says he, ' never to have goold, silver, 
or brass in my company/ 



8 KING O TOOLE 

" ' Barrin' the thrifle you can't help/ says the king, 
mighty cute, and lookin' him straight in the face. 

'^ ' You just hot it,' says Saint Kavin ; ' but though 
I can't take money,' says he, ' I could take a few 
acres o' land;, if you'd give them to me.' 

" ' With all the veins o' my heart,' says the king, 
' if you can do what you say.' 

" ' Thry me !' says Saint Kavin. ' Call down your 
goose here,' says he, ' and I'll see what I can do for 
her.' 

" With that, the king whistled, and down kem the 
poor goose, all as one as a hound, waddlin' up to the 
poor ould cripple, her masther, and as like him as 
two pays. The minute the saint clapt his eyes an 
the goose^ ' I'll do the job for you,' says he ' King 
'Toole !' 

" ^ By Jaminee,' says King O'Toole, ' if you do, 
ud I'll say you're the cleverest fellow in the sivin 
jarishes.' 

" ' Oh, by dad,' says Saint Kavin, ' you must say 
more nor that — my horn's not so soft all out,' says 
he, ' as to repair your ould goose for nothin' — what'll 
you gi' me, if I do the job for you — that's the chat,' 
says Saint Kavin. 

" ' I'll give you whatever you ax,' says the king ; 
* isn't that fair ?' 

" 'Divil a fairer,' says the saint; that's the way to 
do business. Now,' says he, ' this is the bargain I'll 
make with you. King O'Toole : will you gi' me all 



AND SAINT KEVIN. H 

the ground the goose flies over, the first offer afther 
I make her as good as new ?' 

" ' I will/ says the king. 

" ' You won't go back o' your word/ says St. Kavin. 

" ^ Honor bright !' says King O'Toole, howldin' out 
his fist. 

Here old Joe, after applying his hand to his mouth, 
and making a sharp, blowing sound, (something like 
" thp") extended it to illustrate the action.* 

"^ Honor bright/ says St. Kavin, back agin, 'it's 
a bargain,' says he. ' Come here !' says he to the 
poor ould goose — ^ come here you unfort'nate ould 
cripple,' says he, ' and it's I that 'ill make you the 
sportin' bird.' 

'' With that, my dear, he tuk up the goose by the 
two wings — ' cris o' my crass an you,' says he, mark- 
in' her to grace with the blessed sign at the same 
minute — and, throwin' her up in the air, 'whew !' says 
he, jist givin' her a blast to help her ; and with that, 
my jewel, she tuk to her heels flyin' like one o' the 
aigles themselves, and cuttin' as many capers as a 
swallow before a shower o' rain. Away she wint 
down there, right forninst you, along the side o' the 

• This royal mode of concluding a bargain has descended in its 
original purity, from the days of King O'Toole to the present time, 
and is constantly practised by the Irisli peasantry. We believe somC' 
thing of luck is attributed to this same sharp blowing we have notic- 
ed, and which, for the sake of " ears polite," we have not ventured 
to call by its right name; for to speak truly, a slight escapement of 
saliva takes place at the time. It is thus handsel is given and receive 
ed ; and many are the virtues attributed by the lower order of the 
Irish, to" fasting spittle." 

b3 



10 KING O'tOOLE 

clift, and flew over St. Kavin's bed^ (that is, where 
Saint Kavin's bed is 7iow, but was not thin, by 
raison it wasn't made, but was conthrived afther by 
St. Kavin himself, that the women might lave him 
alone) and on with her undher Lugduff, and round 
the ind av the lake there, far beyant, where you see 
the watherfall, (though indeed it 's no watherfall at 
all now, but only a poor dhribble iv a thing ; but if 
you seen it in the winther, it id do your heart good, 
and it roarin' like mad, and as white as the dhriven 
snow, and rowlin' down the big rocks before it all as 
one as ehildher playin' marbles) — and on with her 
thin right over the lead mines o' Luganure, (that is, 
where the lead mines is now, but was not thin, by 
raison they worn't discovered, hut was all goold in 
Saint Kavin's time.) Well, over the ind o' Luga- 
nure, she flew, stout and study, and round the other 
ind av the little lake, by the churches, (that is, av 
coarse, where the churches is now, but was not thin, 
by raison they wor not built, but aftherwards by Saint 
Kavin,) and over the big hill here over your head, 
where you see the big clift — (and that clift in the 
mountain was made by Fan Ma Cool, where he cut 
it acrass with a big swoord, that he got made a pur- 
pose by a blacksmith out o' Rathdrum, a cousin av 
his own, for to fight a joyant (giant) that darr'd him, 
an the Curragh o' Kildare ; and he thried the swoord 
first an the mountain, and cut it down into a gap, as 
is plain to this day ; and faith, sure enough, it's the 
same sauce he sarv'd the joyant, soon and suddent. 



AND SAINT KEVIN. 1 1 

and chopped him in two, like a pratee, for the glory 
of his sowl and owld Ireland) — well — down she 
flew over the clift, and fluttherin' over the wood there, 
at Poulanass, (where I showed you the purty wa- 
therfall— and by the same token, last Thursday was 
a twelvemonth sence, a young lady, Miss RafFerty by 
name, fell into the same watherfall, and was nigh 
hand drownded, and indeed would be to this day, but 
for a young man that jumped in afther her — indeed a 
smart slip iv a young man he was ; he was out o' 
Francis-street, I hear, and coorted her sence, and 
they wor married, I'm given to undherstand, and in- 
deed a purty couple they wor.) Well — as I said — 
afther fluttherin' over the wood a little bit, to pkixe 
herself, the goose flewn down., and lit at the fut o' the 
king, as fresh as a daisy, afther flyin' roun' his domi- 
nions, just as if she hadn't flew three perch. 

"^ Well, my dear, it was a beautiful sight to see 
the king standin' with his mouth open, lookin' at his 
poor owld goose flyin' as light as a lark, and betther 
nor ever she was; and when she lit at his fut he 
patted her an the head, and ' ma vourneen,' says he, 
' but you are the darlint o the world.' 

" ' And what do you say to me,' says Saint Kavin, 
^ for makin' her the like ?' 

" ' By gor,' says the king, ' I say nothin' bates the 
art o' man, barrin'* the bees.' 

"^ 'And do you say no more nor that?' says St. Kavin. 

• Barring is constantly used by the Irish peasantry for except. 



J2 



KING O TOOLE 



" ' And that I'm behoulden to you/ says the king. 

'^ ' But will you gi'e me all the ground the goose 
flewn over ?' says Saint Kavin. 

" ' I will_,' says King O'Toole ; ' and you're welkim 
to it/ says he, ^ though it's the last acre I have to give/ 

" ' But you'll keep your word thrue ?' says the 
saint. 

" 'As thrue as the sun/ says the king. 

" ' It's well for you,' (says Saint Kavin, mighty 
sharp) — 'it's well for you. King O'Toole, that you 
said that word,' says he; 'for if you didn't say that 
word, the devil receave the bit o your goose id ever 
fiy agin,' says Saint Kavin. 

" Oh, you needn't laugh/' said old Joe, half of- 
fended at detecting the trace of a suppressed smile ; 
" you needn't laugh, for it's thruth I'm tellin you. 

" Well, whin the king was as good as his word,. 
Saint Kavin was plazed with him ; and thin it was 
that he made himself known to the king. 'And/ 
says he, ' King O'Toole, you're a dacent man/ says 
he; 'for I only kem here to ^Ary;^ow. You don' know 
me,' says he, ' bekase I'm disguised.'* 

" ' Troth, then, you're right enough/ says the king, 
' I didn't perceave it,' says he ; ' for indeed I never 
seen the sign o' sper'ts an you.' 

" ' Oh ! that's not what I mane/ says Saint Kavin ; 
' I mane, I'm deceavin' you all out, and that I'm not 
myself at all.' 

* A person in a state of drunkenness is said to be disguised. 



AND SAINT KEVIN. 13 

" ' Blur-an-agers ! thin/' says the king, ' if you're 
not yourself, who are you ?' 

" ' I'm St. Kavin/ said the saint, blessin' himself. 

" * Oh, queen iv heaven !' says the king, makin' the 
sign o' the crass betune his eyes, and fallin' down an 
his knees before the saint. Ms it the great Saint 
Kavin/ says he, ' that I've been discoursin' all this 
time, without knowin' it/ says he, ' all as one as if he 
was a lump of a gossoon ? — and so you're a saint,' 
says the king. 

^' ' I am,' says Saint Kavin. 

" ' By gor, I thought I was only talking to a dacent 
boy,** says the king. 

'' * Well, you know the differ now,' says the saint. 
' I'm Saint Kavin,' says he, ' the greatest of all the 
saints.' 

" For Saint Kavin, you must know. Sir," added 
Joe, treating me to another parenthesis, " Saint Kavin 
is counted the greatest of all the saints, bekase he 
went to school with the prophet Jeremiah. 

"Well, my dear, that's the way that the place 
kem, all at wanst, into the hands of Saint Kavin ; for 
the goose flewn round every individyial acre o' King 
O'Toole's property you see, hein let into the saycret 
by Saint Kavin, who was mighty cute ;t and so, 
when he done the owld king out iv his property, for 



* The English reader must not imagine the saint to hiivebeen very 
juvenile, from this expression of the king's. In Ireland, a man In the 
prime of life is called a " stout boy." 

] Cunning. An abbreviation of acute. 



14 KING o'tOOLE and SAINT KEVIN. 

the glory o' God, he was plazed with him, and he 
and the king was the best o' friends iver more afther, 
(for the poor ould king was doatin, you see) and the 
king had his goose, as good as new, to divart him as 
long as he lived : and the saint supported him, afther 
he kem into his property, as I tould you, antil the day 
iv his death— and that was soon afther — for the poor 
goose thought he was ketchin' a throut one Friday ; 
but my jewel, it was a mistake he made ; and in- 
stead of a throut, it was a thievin' horse-eel ;* and, 
by gor, instead iv the goose's killin' a throut for the 
king's supper — by dad the eel killed the king's goose. 
And small blame to him — but he didn't ate her, be- 
kase he darn't ate what Saint Kavin laid his blessed 
hand on. 

Howsumdever, the king never recovered the loss 
iv his goose, though he had her stuffed, (I don't 
mane stuffed with pratees and inyans, but as a cu- 
rosity,) and presarved in a glass case for his own 
divarshin ; and the poor king died an the next Mi- 
chaelmas day, which was remarkable. — Throth, it's 
thruth I'm tellin you ;-^and when he was gone. Saint 
Kavin gev him an iligant wake, and a beautiful 
berrin' ; and more betoken, he said mass for his sowl, 
and tuk care av his goose. 

• Esls of uncommon size are said to exist in tlie upper lake of 
Glendalonjh: the guides invariably tell marvellous stories of them: 
they describe them of forbidding aspect, with manes as large as a 
horse's; — one of these 'slippery rogues' is said to have amused 
himself by entering a pasture on the borders of the lake, and eating 
a cow — maybe 'twas a 6m//. 



LOUGH CORRIB. 



These things to hear 



Would Desdemona seriously incline." 

Othello . 



It chanced, amongst some of the pleasantest ad- 
ventures of a tour through the West of Ireland, in 

1 825, that the house of Mr. of received me 

as a guest. The owner of the mansion upheld the 
proverbial reputation of his country's hospitality, and 
his lady was of singularly winning manners and pos- 
sessed of much intelligence — an intelligence, arising 
not merely from the cultivation resulting from care- 
ful education, but originating also from the atten- 
tion which persons of good sense bestow" upon the 
circumstances which come within the range of their 
observation. 

Thus, Mrs. an accomplished English woman, 

instead of sneering at the deficiencies which a poorer 
country than her own laboured under, was willing to 
be amused by observing the difference which exists 



16 LOUGH CORRIB. 

in the national character of the two people^ in noting 
the prevalence of certain customs^ superstitions, &c. 
&c. ; while the popular tales of the neighbourhood 
had, for her, a charm which enlivened a sojourn in 
a remote district, that must otherwise have proved 
lonely. 

To this pleasure was added that of admiration of 
the natural beauties with which she was surrounded ; 
the noble chain of the Mayo mountains, linking with 
the majestic range of those of Joyce's country, formed 
no inconsiderable source of picturesque beauty and 
savage grandeur ; and when careering over the waters 
of Lough Corrib that foamed at their feet, she never 
sighed for the grassy slopes of Hyde-park, nor that 
unruffled pond, the Serpentine river. 

In the same boat which often bore so fair a charge, 
have I explored the noble Lough Corrib to its re- 
motest extremity, sailing over the depths of its dark 
waters, amidst solitudes whose echoes are seldom 
awakened but by the scream of the eagle. 

From this lady I heard some characteristic stories 
and prevalent superstitions of the country. Many of 
these she had obtained from an old boatman, one of 

the crew that manned Mr. 's boat ; and often, as 

he sat at the helm, he delivered his "round, unvar- 
nished tale ;" and, by the way, in no very measured 
terms either, whenever his subject happened to touch 
upon the wrongs his country had sustained in her 
early wars against England, although his liege lady 
was a native of the hostile land. Nevertheless the 



LOUGH CORRIB. ]7 

old Corribeaii (the name somehow has a charmingly 
savage sound about it) was nothing loth to have his 
fling at ^Hhe invaders" — a term of reproach he al- 
ways cast upon the English. 

Thus skilled in legendary lore, Mrs. proved 

an admirable guide to the "lions" of the neighbour- 
hood; and it was previously to a projected visit to 
the Cave of Cong, that she entered upon some anec- 
dotes relating to the romantic spot, which led her to 
tell me, that one legend had so particularly ex- 
cited the fancy of a young lady, a friend of hers, that 
she wrought it into the form of a little tale, which, 
she added, had not been considered ill done. " But," 
said she, " 'tis true we were all friends who passed 
judgment, and only drawing-room critics. You shall 
therefore judge for yourself, and hearing it before you 
see the cave will, at least, rather increase your in- 
terest in the visit." And, forthwith, drawing from a 
little cabinet a manuscript, she read to me the follow- 
ing tale — much increased in its effect by the sweet 
voice in which it was delivered. 



;^anu^riij)t 



FROM THE CABINET OF MRS. ^. 

A LEGEND OF LOUGH MASK. 



All things that we ordained festival 
Turn from their office to black funeral : 
Our instruments, to melancholy bells ; 
Our wedding cheer, to a sad burial feast ; 
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change ; 
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse, 
And all things change them to the contrary. 

Rotneo and Juliet. 



The evening was closing fast as the young Cormac 
O' Flaherty had reached the highest acclivity of one of 
the rugged passes of the steep mountains of Joyce's 
country. He made a brief pause — not to take breathy 
fair reader — Cormac needed no breathing time, and 
would have considered it little short of an insult to 
have had such a motive attributed to the momentary 
stand he made, and none that knew the action of the 
human figure would have thought it ; for the firm 
footing which one beautifully-formed leg held with 
youthful firmness on the mountain path, while the 
other, slightly thrown behind, rested on the half-bent 
foot, did not imply repose, but rather suspended 



LOUGH MASK. 19 

action. In sooth, young Cormac, to the eye of a 
painter, might have seemed a living Antinous — all 
the grace of that beautiful antique, all the youth, all 
the expression of suspended motion were there, with 
more of vigour and impatience. He paused- — not to 
take breath, Sir Walter Scott ; for like your own 
Malcolm Grseme, 

'' Right up Ben Lomond could he press, 
And not a sob his toil confess ;" 

and our young O'Flaherty was not to be outdone in 
breasting up a mountain side, by the boldest Grseme 
of them all. 

But he lingered for a moment to look back upon a 
scene at once sublime and gorgeous ; and cold must 
the mortal have been who could have beheld and had 
not paused. 

On one side, the Atlantic lay beneath him brightly 
reflecting the glories of an autumnal setting sun, and 
expanding into a horizon of dazzling light ; on the 
other lay the untrodden wilds before him, stretching 
amidst the depths of mountain valleys, whence the 
sun-beam had long since departed, and mists were 
already wreathing round the overhanging heights, 
and veiling the distance in vapoury indistinctness : as 
though you looked into some wizard's glass, and saw 
the uncertain conjuration of his wand. On the one 
side all was glory, light and life — on the other all 
was awful, still, and almost dark. It was one of Na- 
ture's sublimest moments ; — such as are seldom wit- 
nessed, and never forgotten. (A) 



20 LOUGH MASK. 

Ere he descended the opposite declivity, Cormac 
once more bent back his gaze ;- -and now it was not 
one exclusively of admiration ; there was a mixture 
of scrutiny in his look, and turning to Diarmid, a 
faithful adherent of his family, and only present com- 
panion, he said, "that sunset forebodes a coming 
storm ; does it not Diarmid ?" 

" Ay, truly does it," responded the attendant, 
" and there's no truth in the clouds, if we havn't it 
soon upon us." 

" Then let us speed," said Cormac — " for the high 
hill and the narrow path must be traversed ere our 
journey be accomplished." And he sprang down the 
steep and shingly pass before him, followed by the 
faithful Diarmid. 

" 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye to mark 
Our coming— and grow brighter when we come." 

And there was a bright eye watching for Cormac, and 
many a love-taught look did Eva cast over the wa- 
ters of Lough Mask, impatient for the arrival of 
the O'Flaherty. " Surely he will be here this even- 
ing," thought Eva, " yet the sun is already low, and 
no distant oar disturbs the lovely quiet of the lake— 
but may he not have tarried beyond the mountains ? 
he has friends there," recollected Eva, but soon 
the maiden's jealous fancy whispered " he has friends 
here too?"-— and she reproached him for his delay ;— 
but it was only for a moment. 

" The accusing spirit blushed" — as Eva continued 
her train of conjecture. " 'Tis hard to part from 



LOUGH MASK. 21 

pressing friends," thought she, " and Cormac is ever 
welcome in the hall, and heavily closes the portal 
after his departing footsteps." Another glance across 
the lake. — 'Tis yet unrippled by an oar. — The faint 
outline of the dark gray mountains whose large 
masses lie unbroken by the detail which day-light 
discovers — the hazy distance of the lake, whose ex- 
tremity is undistinguishable from the overhanging 
cliffs which embrace it — the fading of the western 
sky — the last lonely rook winging his weary way to the 
adjacent wood, the flickering flight of the bat across 
her windows — all — all told told Eva the night was 
fast approaching, yet Cormac was not come. She 
turned from the casement with a sigh. — Oh ! only 
those who love can tell how anxious are the moments 
we pass in watching the approach of the beloved one. 

She took her harp ; every heroine, to be sure, has a 
harp : but this was not the pedal harp, that instru- 
ment j»ar e.rce//e/ice of heroines, but the simple harp 
of her country, whose single row of brazen wires 
had often rung to many a sprightly planxty, long, 
long before the double action of Errard had vibrated 
to some fantasia, from Rossini or Mayerbeer, under 
the brilliant finger of a Bochsa or a Labarre. 

But now the harp of Eva did not ring forth the 
spirit-stirring planxty, but yielded to her gentlest 
touch one of the most soothing and plaintive of her 
native melodies ; and to her woman sensibility, which 
long expectation bad excited, it seemed to breathe 
an unusual flow of tenderness and pathos, which her 



22 



LOUGH MASK. 



heated imagination conjured almost into prophetic 
wailing. Eva paused, she was alone, the night had 
closed, her chamber was dark and silent. She burst 
into tears, and when her spirits became somewhat 
calmed by this gush of feeling, she arose, and dash- 
ing the lingering tear-drops from the long lashes of 
the most beautiful blue eyes in the world, she has- 
tened to the hall, and sought in the society of others 
to dissipate those feelings by which she had been 
overcome. 

The night closed over the path of Cormac, and the 
storm he anticipated had swept across the waves of 
the Atlantic, and now burst in all its fury over the 
mountains of Joyce's country. The wind rushed 
along in wild gusts, bearing in its sweeping eddy 
heavy dashes of rain, which soon increased to a con- 
tinuous deluge of enormous drops, rendering the 
mountain gullies the channels of temporary rivers, 
and the path that wound along the verge of each pre- 
cipice, so slippery, as to render its passage death to 
the timid or unwary, and dangerous even to the firm- 
est or most practised foot. But our hero and his 
attendant strode on — the torrent was resolutely pass- 
ed — its wild roar audible above the loud thunder- 
peals that rolled through the startled echoes of the 
mountains ; the dizzy path was firmly trod, its dan- 
gers rendered more perceptible by the blue lightnings, 
half revealing the depth of the abyss beneath, and 
Cormac and Diarmid still pressed on towards the 
shores of Lough Mask, unconscious of the interrup- 



LOUGH MASK. 23 

tioii that yet awaited them, fiercer than the torrent, 
and more deadly than the lightning. 

As they passed round the base of a projecting 
crag that flung its angular masses athwart the ravine 
through which they wound, a voice of brutal coarse- 
ness suddenly arrested their progress with the fiercely 
uttered word of " Stand !" 

Cormac instantly stopped, as instantly his weapon 
was in his hand ; and with searching eye, he sought 
to discover through the gloom, what bold intruder 
dared cross the path of the O'Flaherty. His tongue 
now demanded what his eye failed him to make 
known ; and the same rude voice that first addressed 
him, answered, '^ Thy mortal foe!-— thou seek'st thy 
bride, fond boy, but never shalt thou behold her — 
never shalt thou share the bed of Eva." 

*' Thou liest ! foul traitor !" cried Cormac, fierce- 
ly, " avoid my path— avoid it, I say, for death is 
in it !" 

'^ Thou say'st truly," answered the unknown, with 
a laugh of horrid meaning, ^* come on, and thy words 
shall be made good !" 

At this moment, a flash of lightning illumined the 
whole glen with momentary splendour, and discover- 
ed to Cormac, a few paces before him, two armed 
men of gigantic stature, in one of whom he recog- 
nised Emman O'Flaherty, one of the many branches 
of that ancient and extensive family, equally distin- 
guished for his personal prowess and savage temper, 

" Ha !" exclaimed Cormac, " is it Emman Dubh ?" 



24 LOUGH MASK. 

for the black hair of Emman had obtained for him 
this denomination of Black Edward, a name fearfully- 
suitable to him who bore it. 

" Yes," answered he tauntingly, " it is Emman 
Dubh who waits the coming of his fair cousin ; you 
have said death is in your path — come on and meet 
it." 

Nothing daunted, however shocked at discoverhig 
the midnight waylayer of his path in his own rela- 
tive, Cormac answered, " Emman Dubh, I have never 
wronged you, but since you thirst for my blood, 
and cross my path, on your own head be the 
penalty. — Stand by me Diarmid," said the brave 
youth; and rushing on his Herculean enemy, they 
closed in mortal combat. 

Had the numbers been equal, the colossal strength 
of Emman might have found its overmatch in the 
activity of Cormac, and his skill in the use of his 
weapon. But oh ! the foul, the treacherous Emman ; 
he dared his high-spirited rival to advance but to 
entrap him into an ambuscade ; for as he rushed 
upon his foe past the beetling rock that hung over his 
path, a third assassin, unseen by the gallant Cormac, 
lay in wait ; and when the noble youth was engaged 
in the fierce encounter, a blow, dealt him in the back, 
laid the betrothed of Eva lifeless at the feet of the 
savage and exulting Emman. 

Restlessly had Eva passed that turbulent night — 
each gust of the tempest, each flash of living flame 
and burst of thunder awakened her terrors, lest 



LOUGH MASK. 25 

Cormac, the beloved of her soul were exposed to 
its fury : but in the lapses of the storm, hope ven- 
tured to whisper he yet lingered in the castle of 
some friend beyond the mountains. The morning 
dawned, and silently bore witness to the commotion 
of the elements in the past night. The riven branch 
of the naked tree, that in one night had been shorn 
of its leafy beauty, the earth strown with foliage 
half green, half yellow, ere yet the autumnal alchemy 
had converted its summer verdure quite to gold, 
gave evidence that an unusually early storm had 
been a forerunner of the equinox. The general aspect 
of nature too, though calm, was cold ; the moun- 
tains wore a dress of sombre grey, and the small 
scattered clouds were straggling over the face of 
heaven, as though they had been rudely riven asun- 
der, and the short and quick lash of the waters upon 
the shore of Lough Mask, might have told, to an 
accustomed eye, that a longer wave and a whiter 
foam had broken on its strand a few hours before. 
But what is that upthrown upon the beach ? And 
who are those who surround it in such consternation? 
It is the little skiiF that was moored at the opposite 
side of the lake on the preceding eve, and was to have 
borne Cormac to his betrothed bride ; and they who 
identify the shattered boat are those to whom Eva's 
happiness is dear ; for it is her father and his attend- 
ants, who are drawing ill omens from the tiny wreck. 
But they conceal the fact, and the expecting girl is 
not told of the evil-boding discovery. But days have 



26 LOUGH MASK. 

come and gone, and Cormac yet tarries. At length 
'tis past a doubt ; and the father of Eva knows his 
child is widowed ere her bridal — widowed in heart, 
at least. And who shall tell the fatal tale to Eva ? 
Who shall • cast the shadow o'er her soul, and 

make the future darkness? Alas! ye feeling souls 

that ask it, that pause ere ye can speak the word 
that blights for ever, pause no longer, for Eva 
knows it. Yes ! from tongue to tongue — by word on 
word from many a quivering lip, and meanings, darkly 
given, the dreadful certainty at last arrived to the be- 
wildered Eva. 

It was nature's last effort at comprehension ; her 
mind was filled with the one fatal knowledge — 
Cormac was gone for ever ; and that was the only 
mental consciousness which ever after employed 
the lovely Eva. 

The remainder of the melancholy tale is briefly 
told. Though quite bereft of reason, she was harm- 
less as a child, and was allowed to wander round 
the borders of Lough Mask, and its immediate neigh- 
bourhood. A favourite haunt of the still beautiful 
maniac was the Cave of Cong, where a subterranean 
river rushes from beneath a low, natural arch in the 
rock, and passing for some yards over a strand of 
pebbles, in pellucid swiftness, loses itself in the dark 
recesses of the cavern with the sound of a rapid and 
turbulent fall. This river is formed by the waters 
of Lough Mask becoming engulphed at one of its 
extremities, and hurraing through a subterranean 



LOUGH MASK. 2^ 

channel, until they rise again in the neighbourhood 
of Cong, and becomes tributary to Lough Corrib. 
Here the poor girl would sit for hours; and, be- 
lieving that her beloved Cormac had been drowned 
in Lough Mask, she hoped, in one of those half- 
intelligent dreams which haunt a distempered brain, 
to arrest his body, as she fancied it must pass through 
the Cave of Cong, borne on the subterranean river. 

Month after month passed by ; but the nipping 
winter and the gentle spring found the lovely Eva still 
watching by the stream, like some tutelary water- 
nymph beside her sacred fountain. At length she 
disappeared, and though the strictest search was 
made, the broken-hearted Eva was never heard of 
more, and the tradition of the country is, that the 
fairies took pity on a love so devoted, and carried 
away the faithful girl to join her betrothed in fairy 
land ! 

Mrs. closed the manuscript, and replaced it in 

the little cabinet. 

" Most likely," said I, "^ poor Eva, if ever such a 
person existed " 

"If!" said the fair reader. '^ Can you be so un- 
grateful as to question the truth of my legend, after 
all the trouble I have had in reading it to you } Get 
away ! A sceptic like you is only fit to hear the com- 
mon places of the daily press." 

" I cry your pardon, fair lady," said I. " I am 
most orthodox in legendary belief, and question not 
the existence of your Eva. I was only about to say 

c2 



28 LOUGH MASK. 

that perchance she might have been drowned m and 
carried away by the river she watched so closely." 

'' Hush, hush/' said the fair chronicler — " As you 
hope for favour or information in our fair counties of 
Galway or Mayo, never dnre to question the truth of 
a legend — never venture a "perhaps" for the purpose 
of making a tale more reasonable, nor endeavour to 
substitute the reign of common sense, in hopes of 
superseding the empire of the fairies. Go to-morrow 
to the Cave of Cong, and if you return still an un- 
believer, I give you up as an irreclaimable infidel." 

(A) The view from the Pass of Salruck in Cunnemaia, commanding 
at once on one side the great Killeiy harbour, and on the other the 
Atlantic Ocean, once afforded me just such a magnificent prospect a? 
the one described. 



THE WHITE TROUT; 

A LEGEND OF CONG. 



" Ob ! I would ask no happier bed 
Than the chill wave my love lies under : 

Sweeler to rest together, dead, 
Far sweeter than to live asunder." 

Lalla Rookk. 



The next morning I proceeded alone to the cave, 
to witness the natural curiosity of its subterranean 
river^ my interest in the visit being somewhat in- 
creased by the foregoing tale. Leaving my horse 
at the little village of Cong, I bent my way on foot 
through the fields, if you may venture to give that 
name to the surface of this immediate district of the 
County Mayo, which, presenting large flat masses of 
lime-stone, intersected by patches of verdure, gives 
one the idea much more of a burial ground covered 
with monumental slabs, than a formation of nature. 
Yet, (I must make this remark en passantj) such is 
the richness of the pasture in these little verdant in- 
terstices, that cattle are fattened upon it in a much 



30 THE WHITE TROUT. 

shorter time than on a meadow of the most cultured 
aspect; and though to the native of Leinster, this 
land (if we may be pardoned a premeditated bull,') 
would appear all stones, the Mayo farmer knows it 
from experience to be a profitable tenure. Sometimes 
deep clefts occur between these laminae of lime-stone 
rock, which, closely overgrown with verdure, have 
not unfrequently occasioned serious accidents to man 
and beast; and one of these chasms, of larger dimen- 
sions than usual, forms the entrance to the celebrated 
cave in question. Very rude steps of unequal height, 
partly natural and partly artificial, lead the explorer 
of its quiet beauty, by an abrupt descent, to the bottom 
of the cave, which contains an enlightened area of 
some thirty or forty feet, whence a naturally-vaulted 
passage opens, of the deepest gloom. The depth of 
the cave may be about equal to its width at the bot- 
tom : the mouth is not more than twelve or fifteen 
feet across ; and pendant from its margin clusters of 
ivy and other parasite plants hang and cling in all 
the fantastic variety of natural festooning and tracery. 
It is a truly beautiful and poetical little spot, and 
particularly interesting to the stranger, from being 
unlike any thing else one has ever seen, and having 
none of the noisy and vulgar pretence of regular show- 
places, which calls upon you every moment to exclaim 
" Prodigious !" 

An elderly and decent looking woman had just 
filled her pitcher with the deliciously cold and clear 
water of the subterranean river that flowed along its 



THE WHITE TROUT. 31 

bed of small, smooth, and many-coloured pebbles, as 
I arrived at the bottom, and perceiving at once that 
I was a stranger, she paused, partly perhaps with the 
pardonable pride of displaying her local knowledge, 
but more from the native peasant-politeness of her 
country, to become the temporary Cicerone of the 
cave. She spoke some words of Irish, and hurried 
forth on her errand a very handsome and active boy, 
of whom, she informed me, she was great-grand- 
mother. 

"Great-grandmother!" I repeated, in unfeigned 
astonishment. 

"Yes, your honor," she answered, with evident 
pleasure sparkling in her eyes, which time had not 
yet deprived of their brightness, nor the soul-subduing 
influence of this selfish world, bereft of their kind 
hearted expression. 

" You are the youngest woman I have ever seen," 
said I, " to be a great-grandmother." 

" Troth, I don't doubt you. Sir," she answered. 

" And you seem still in good health, and likely to 
live many a year yet," said I. 

" With the help of God, Sir," said she, reverently. 

"But," I added, " I perceive a great number of 
persons about here of extreme age. Now, how long 
generally do the people in this country live.''" 

" Troth, Sir," said she, with the figurative drol- 
lery of her country, " we live here as long as we 
like.'-' 

"Well, that is no inconsiderable privilege," said 



32 THE WHITE TROUT. 

I ; but you^ nevertheless, must have married very 
young?" 

" I was not much over sixteen, your honor, when 
I had my first child at my breast." 

'^ That was beginning early," said I. 

" Thrue for you. Sir ; and faith, Noreen — (that's 
my daughter. Sir) — Noreen herself lost no time either 
I suppose she thought she had as good a right as the 
mother before her — she was married at seventeen, 
and a likely couple herself and her husband was. So 
you see. Sir, it was not long before I was a granny. 
Well, to make the saying good, ' as the ould cock 
crows, the young bird cherrups,' and faiks, the whole 
breed, seed, and generation, tuk after the owld woman 
(that's myself. Sir) ; and so, in coorse of time, I was 
not only a granny, but a grate granny ; and, by the 
same token, here comes my darling Paudeen Bav»n,* 
with what I sent him for.'* 

Here the fine little fellow I have spoken of, with 
his long fair hair curling about his shoulders, de- 
scended into the cave, bearing some faggots of bog- 
wood, a wisp of straw, and a lighted sod of turf. 

" Now, your honor, it's what you'll see the pigeon- 
hole to advantage." 

" What pigeon-hole ?" said I. 

^' Here where we are," she replied. 

" Why is it so called?" I inquired. 

^' Because Sir, the wild pigeons often builds in 

• Fair little Paddy. 



THK WHITE TROUT. 33 

the bushes and the ivy that's round the mouth of the 
cave, and in here too/' said she, pointing into the 
gloomy depth of the interior. 

" Blow that turf, Paudeen ;" and Paudeen, with 
distended cheeks and compressed lips, forthwith 
poured a few vigorous blasts on the sod of turf, which 
soon flickered and blazed, while the kind old woman 
lighted her faggots of bog-wood at the flame. 

" Now Sir, follow me," said my conductress. 

" I am sorry you have had so much trouble on my 
account," said I. 

" Oh, no throuble in life your honor, but the great- 
est of pleasure ;" and so saying, she proceeded into 
the cave, and I followed, carefully choosing my steps 
by the help of her torch-light, along the slippery path 
of rock that overhung the river. When she had 
reached a point of some little elevation, she held up 
her lighted pine branches, and waving them to and 
fro, asked me could I see the top of the cave. 

The effect of her figure was very fine, illumined as 
it was, in the midst of utter darkness, by the red glare 
of the blazing faggots ; and as she wound them 
round her head, and shook their flickering sparks 
about, it required no extraordinary stretch of imagina- 
tion to suppose her, with her ample cloak of dark 
drapery, and a few straggling tresses of grey hair 
escaping from the folds of a rather Eastern head- 
dress, some Sybil about to commence an awful rite, 
and evoke her ministering spirits from the dark void, 
or call some water-demon from the river, which 

c3 



34 THE WHITE TROUT. 

rushed unseen along-, telling of its wild course by 
the turbulent dash of its waters, which the reverbe- 
ration of the cave rendered still more hollow. 

She shouted aloud, and the cavern-echoes answered 
to her summons. 

"Look!" said she; and she lighted the wisp of 
straw, and flung it on the stream ; it floated rapidly 
away, blazing in wild undulations over the perturbed 
surface of the river, and at length suddenly disap- 
peared altogether. The eifect was most picturesque 
and startling : it was even awful. I might almost 
say, sublime ! 

Her light being nearly expired, we retraced our 
steps, and emerging from the gloom, stood beside 
the river in the enlightened area I have described. 

" Now Sir," said my old woman, " we must thry 
and see the White Throut ; and you never seen a 
throut o' that colour yet, I warrant." 

1 assented to the truth of this. 

" They say it's a fairy throut, your honor, and tells 
mighty quare stories about it." 

" What are they ?" 1 inquired. 

" Troth, it's myself doesn't know the half o' them 
— only partly : but sthrive and see it before you go. 
Sir ; for there's them that says it isn't lucky to come 
to the cave, and lave it without seein' the white 
throut ; an' if you're a batchelor, Sir, and didn't get 
a peep at it, throth you'd never be married ; and sure 
that 'id be a murther !"* 

* A great pi<y. 



THE WHITE TROUT. 35 

" Oh/' said Ij " I hope the fairies would not be so 
spiteful " 

'^Whisht— whisht !* said she," looking- fearfully 
around ; then, knitting her brows, she gave me an 
admonitory look, and put her finger on her lip, in 
token of silence, and then coming sufficiently near 
me to make herself audible in a whisper, she said, 
"never spake ill, your honor, of the good people 
— beyant all, in sitch a place as this — for it's in the 
likes they always keep j and one doesn't know who 
may be listenin'. God keep uz ! But look. Sir! 
Look !" And she pointed to the stream — " There she 
is." 

"Who? What?" said I. 

" The throut. Sir." 

I immediately perceived the fish in question, per- 
fectly a trout in shape, but in colour, a creamy ^^ 
white, heading up the stream, and seeming to keep 
constantly within the region of the enlightened part 
of it. 

" There it is, in that very spot evermore," conti- 
nued my guide, " and never anywhere else." 

" The poor fish, I suppose, likes to swim in the 
light," said I. 

" Oh, no. Sir," said she, shaking her head signifi- 
cantly, "the people here has a mighty owld story 
about that throut." 

" Let me hear it, and you will oblige me." 

" Och ! it's only laughin' at me you'd be, and call 

* Silence. 



36 THE WHITE TROUT. 

me an ould fool, as the misthiss* beyant in the big 
houset often did afore, when she first kem among 
us — but she knows the differ now." 

" Indeed I shall not laugh at your story," said I, 
'' but on the contrary, shall thank you very much for 
your tale." 

"Then sit down a minit. Sir," said she, throwing 
her apron upon a rock and pointing to the seat, " and 
I'll tell you to the best of my knowledge;" and seat- 
ing herself on an adjacent patch of verdure, she be- 
gan her legend. 

" There was wanst upon a time, long ago, a beau- 
tiful young lady that lived in a castle up by the lake 
beyant, and they say she was promised to a king's 
son, and they wor to be married : when, all of a sud- 
dent, he was murther'd, the crathur, (Lord help uz) 
and threwn into the lake abow,J and so, of coorse, 
he couldn't keep his promise to the fair lady, — and 
more's the pity. 

" Well, the story goes that she Avint out iv her 
mind, bekase av loosiu the king's son — for she was 
tindher-hearted, God help her, like the rest iv us ! — 
and pined away after him, until, at last, no one about 
seen her, good or bad, and the story wint, that the 
fairies tuk her away. 

" Well, Sir, in eoorse o' time, the white throut, 
God bless it, was seen in the sthrame beyant ; and 
sure the people didn't know what to think av the 
crathur, seein* as how a white throut was never 

* The Lady. f A gemleman's mansion. % Above. 



THE WHITE TROUT. 37 

heer'd av, afore nor sence, and years upon years the 
throut was there, just where you seen it this blessed 
minit, longer nor I can tell, aye throth, and beyant 
the memory o' th' ouldest in the village. 

" At last the people began to think it must be a 
fairy ; for what else could it be ? — and no hurt nor 
harm was iver put an the white throut, antil some 
wicked sinners of sojers* kem to these parts, and 
laughed at all the people, and gibed and jeered them 
for thinkin' o' the likes ; and one o' them in partic'lar, 
(bad luck to him ! — God forgi' me for sayin' it,) 
swore he'd catch the throut, and ate it for his dinner 
— the blackguard! 

" Well, what would you think o* the villiany of the 
sojer — sure enough he cotch the throut, and away 
wid him home, and puts an the fryin'-pan, and into it 
he pitches the purty little thing. The throut squeeled 
all as one as a Chrishthan crathur, and, my dear, 
you'd think the sojer id split his sides laughin' — for 
he was a hardened villian. And when he thought one 
side was done, he turns it over to fry the other ; and 
what would you think, but the divil a taste of a 
burn was an it, at all at all; and sure the sojer 
thought it was a quare throut that couldn't be briled; 
' but,' says he, ' I'll give it another turn by and by, 
— little thinkin' what was in store for him, the hay- 
then. 

" Well, when he thought that side was done, he 
turns it agin — and lo and behould you, the divil a 

* Soldiers. 



38 THE WHITE TROUT. 

taste more done that side was nor the other — ' Bad 
luck to me/ says the sojer, 'but that bates the 
world/' says he^ ' but I'll thry you agin, my darlint/ 
says he, ' as cunnin' as you think yourself — and so, 
with that, he turns it over and over ; but the divil a 
sign av the fire was an the purty throut. ' Well, 
says the desperate villian — (for sure. Sir, only he 
was a desperate villian entirely, he might know he 
was doin' a wrong thing, seein' that all his enday- 
vours was no good). ' Well/ says he, ' my jolly 
little throut, maybe you're fried enough, though you 
don't seem over-well dress'd ; but you may be better 
than you look, like a singed cat, and a tit-bit, afther 
all,' says he ; and with that he ups with his knife and 
fork to taste a piece o' the throut, but, my jew'l, the 
minit he put his knife into the fish, there was a mur- 
therin' screech, that you think the life id lave you if 
you heerd it, and away jumps the throut out av the 
fryin'-pan into the middle o' the flure ;* and an the 
spot where it fell, up rizt a lovely lady— the beau- 
tifuUest young crathur that eyes ever seen, dressed 
in white, with a band o' goold in her hair, and a 
sthrame o' blood runnin' down her arm. 

" ' Look where you cut me, you villian,' says she, 
and she held out her arm to him — and my dear, he 
thought the sight id lave his eyes. 

" ' Couldn't you lave me, cool and comfortable in 
the river where you snared me, and not disturb me 
in my duty ?' says she. 

* Floor. t Arose. 



THE VvTiITE TP.OUT 





^^€^ /MTwr^' yxxx/^OytM/rTO^^yxHl/ 



oayTb'-'!' 



THE WHITE TROUT. 39 

" Well, he thrimbled like a dog in a wet sack, 
and at last he stammered out something and begged 
for his life^ and ax'd her ladyship's pardin, and said he 
didn't know she was an duty, or he was too good a 
sojer not to know betther nor to meddle wid her. 

" ' I was an duty, then/ says the lady ; ^ I was 
watchin' for my thrue love, that is coming by wather 
to me/ says she; ' an' if he comes while I am away, 
an' that I miss iv him, I'll turn you into a pinkeen,* 
and I'll hunt you up and down for evermore, " while 
grass grows or wather runs." ' 

'^ Well, the sojer thought the life id lave him, at 
the thoughts iv his bein' turned into a pinkeen, and 
begged for marcy ; and with that, says the lady — 

" ' Renounce your evil coorses,' says she, ' you vil- 
lian, or you'll repint it too late ; be a good man for 
the futhur, and go to your dutyt reg'lar. And now,' 
says she, ' take me back, and put me into the river 
agin, where you found me.' 

^^ ' Oh, my lady,' says the sojer, ' how could I have 
the heart to drownd a beautiful lady like you .''' 

" But before he could say another word, the lady 
was vanish'd, and there he saw the little throut an 
the ground. Well, he put it an a clane plate, and 
away he run for the bare life, for fear her lover would 
come while she was away ; and he run, and he run, 
ever, till he came to the cave agin, and threw the 

• Minnow. 
t The Irish peasant calls his attendance at the confessional " going 
to his duty." 



40 THE WHITE TROUT. 

throut into the river. The minit he did, the wather 
was as red as blood for a little while, by raysoii av 
the cut, I suppose, until the sthrame washed the 
stain away ; and to this day, there's a little red mark 
an the throut's side, where it was cut.* 

''^Well Sir, from that day out, the sojer was an 
althered man, and reformed his ways, and wint to 
his duty reg'lar, and fasted three times a week, though 
it was never fish he tuk an fastin' days; for afther 
the fright he got, fish id never rest an his stomach, 
God bless us, savin' your presence. But any how, 
he was an althered man, as I said before; and in 
coorse o' time he left the army, and turned hermit at 
last ; and they say he used to pray evermore for the 
sowlofthe White Trout." 

» The fi*h has really a red jpot on its side. 



THE BATTLE OF THE BERRINS, 



THE DOUBLE FUNERAL. 



" Belong to the gallows and be hanged, you rogue ; is this a place 

to roar In? Fetch me a dozen staves, and strong ones — these are 

but switches to them I'll scratch your heads !" 



I was sitting alone in the desolate church-yard of 

, intent upon my " silent art/* lifting up my eyes 

from my portfolio only to direct them to the interest- 
ing ruin I was sketchings when the deathlike stUlness 
that prevailed was broken by a faint and wild sound, 
unlike any thing I had ever heard in my life. I con- 
fess I was startled — I paused in my occupation, and 
listened in breathless expectation. Again this seem- 
ingly-unearthly sound vibrated through the still air 
of evening, more audibly than at first, and partaking 
of the vibratory quality of tone I have noticed, in so 
great a degree, as to resemble the remote sound of 
the ringing of many glasses crowded together. 



42 



THE BATTLE OF 



I arose and looked around — no being was near me, 
and again, this heart-chilling sound struck upon my 
ear ; its wild and wailing intonation reminding me of 
the JEolian harp. Another burst was wafted up the 
hill, and then it became discernible that the sound 
proceeded from many voices raised in lamentation. 

It was the Ulican. I had hitherto known it only 
by report; for the first time, now, its wild and 
appalling cadence had ever been heard ; and it will 
not be wondered at by those acquainted with it, that 
I was startled on hearing it under such circum- 
stances. 

I could now perceive a crowd of peasants of both 
sexes, winding along a hollow way that led to the 
churchyard where I was standing, bearing amongst 
them the coffin of the departed ; and ever and anon 
a wild burst of the ulican would arise from the 
throng, and ring in wild and startling unison up the 
hill, until by a gradual and plaintive descent through 
an octave, it dropped into a subdued wail ; and they 
bore the body onward the while, not in the measured 
and solemn step that custom (at least our custom) 
deems decent, but in a rapid and irregular manner, 
as if the violence of their grief hurried them on, and 
disdained all form. 

The effect was certainly more impressive than that 
of any other funeral I had ever witnessed, however 
much the " pride, pomp, and circumstance," of such 
arrays had been called upon to produce a studied 
solemnity ; for no hearse with sable plumes, nor 



THE BERRINS. 43 

chief mourners, nor pall-bearers, ever equalled in 
poetry or picturesque these poor people, bearing along 
on their shoulders, in the stillness of evening, the body 
of their departed friend to its "long home." The 
women raising their arms above their heads, in the 
untaught action of grief; their dark and ample cloaks 
waving wildly about, agitated by the varied motions 
of their wearers, and their wild cry raised in lament 

" most musical, most melancholy." 

At length they reached the cemetery, and the cof- 
fin was borne into the interior of a ruin, where the 
women still continued to wail for the dead, while half 
a dozen athletic young men immediately proceeded 
to prepare a grave ; and seldom have I seen finer 
fellows, or men more full of activity : their action, 
indeed, bespoke so much life and vigour, as to induce 
an involuntary and melancholy contrast with the 
object on which that action was bestowed. 

Scarcely had the spade upturned the green sod of 
the burial-ground, when the wild peal of the ulican 
again was heard at a distance. The young men 
paused in their work, and turned their heads, as did 
all the bystanders, towards the point whence the 
sound proceeded. 

We soon perceived another funeral-procession wind 
round the foot of the hill, and immediately the grave- 
makers renewed their work with redoubled activity ; 
while exclamations of anxiety on their part, for the 
completion of their work, and of encouragement from 
the lookers-on, resounded on all sides ; and such eja- 



44 THE BATTLE OP 

culations as " Hurry, boys, hurry !" — " Stir yourself, 
Paddy !"— " That's your sort, Mike !"— '' Rouse, your 
sowl !" &c. &c. resounded on all sides. At the same 
time, the second funeral party that was advancing, no 
sooner perceived the church-yard already occupied, 
than they directly quickened their pace, as the wail 
rose more loudly and wildly from the train ; and a 
detachment, bearing pick and spade, forthwith sallied 
from the main body, and dashed with headlong speed 
up the hill. In the mean time, an old woman, with 
streaming eyes and dishevelled hair, rushed wildly 
from the ruin where the first party had borne their 
coffin, towards the young athletes I have already de- 
scribed as working with " might and main," and ad- 
dressing them with all the passionate intensity of her 
country, she exclaimed, '^ Sure you wouldn't let them 
have the advantage of uz, that-a-way, and lave my 
darlin' boy wandherin' about, dark an' 'lone in the 
long nights. Work, boys ! Work ! for the bare life, 
and the mother's blessin' be an you, and let my poor 
Paudeen have rest." 

I thought the poor woman was crazed, as indeed 
her appearance and vehemence of manner, as well as 
the (to me) unintelligible address she had uttered, 
might well induce me to believe, and I questioned 
one of the bystanders accordingly. 

" An' is it why she's goin' wild about it, you're 
axin' ?" said the person I addressed, in evident won- 
der at my question. ^' Sure then I thought all the world 
knew that, let alone a gintleman like you, that ought 



THE BERRINS. 45 

to be knowledgable : and sure she doesn't want the 
poor boy to be Avalkm', as of coorse he must, barrin' 
they're smart." 

" What do you mean ?" said I, " I don't under- 
stand you." 

" Whisht ! whisht/' said he ; " here they come, by 
the powers, and the Gallaghers at the head o' them," 
as he looked towards the new-comers' advanced- 
guard, who had now gained the summit of the hill, 
and leaping over the boundary-ditch of the cemetery, 
advanced towards the group that surrounded the 
grave, with rapid strides and a resolute air. 

" Give over there, I bid you," said a tall and ably- 
built man of the party, to those employed in opening 
the ground, who still plied their implements with 
energy. 

" Give over, or it'll be worse for you. Didn't you 
hear me, Rooney ?" said he, as he laid his muscular 
hand on the arm of one of the party he addressed, and 
arrested him in his occupation. 

" I did hear you," said Rooney ; " but I didn't heed 
you." 

" I'd have you keep a civil tongue in your head," 
said the former. 

" You're mighty ready to give advice that you 
want yourself," rejoined the latter, as he again plunged 
the spade into the earth. 

" Lave off, I tell you !" said our Hercules, in a 
higher tone ; " or, by this and that, I'll make you 



46 THE BATTLE OF 

^'^ Arrah ! what brings you here at all?" said ano- 
ther of the grave-makers, " breedin' a disturbance ?" 

"What brings him here, but mischief?" said a grey- 
haired man, who undertook, with national peculiarity, 
to answer one interrogatory by making another, 
— " there's always a quarrel, wherever there's a 
Gallagher." For it was indeed one of ' the Galla- 
ghers' that the peasant I spoke to noticed as being 
" at the head o' them," who was assuming so bold 
a tone. 

"You may thank your grey hairs, that I don't 
make you repent o' your words," said Gallagher ; and 
his brow darkened as he spoke. 

"Time was," said the old man, " when I had 
something surer than grey hairs to make such as you 
respect me ;" and he drew himself up with an air of 
patriarchal dignity, and displayed, in his still-expan- 
sive chest and commanding height, the remains of a 
noble figure, that bore testimony to the truth of what 
he had just uttered. The old man's eye kindled as he 
spoke — but 'twas only for a moment ; and the ex- 
pression of pride and defiance was succeeded by that 
of coldness and contempt. 

^' I'd have beat you blind the best day ever you 
seen," said Gallagher, with an impudent swagger. 

" Throth, you wouldn't, Gallagher !" said a contem- 
porary of the old man ; " but your consait bates the 
world !" 

" That's thrue," said Rooney. " He's a great man 
intirely in his own opinion. I'd make a power of 



THE BERRINS. 47 

money if I could buy Gallagher at my price, and sell 
him at his own." 

A low and jeering" laugh followed this hit of my 
friend Rooney ; and Gallagher assumed an aspect so 
lowering, that a peasant, standing near me, turned to 
his companion and said, significantly, " By gor Ned, 
there'll be wigs an the green afore long !" 

And he was quite right. 

The far-off speck on the horizon, whence the pro- 
phetic eye of a sailor can foretel the coming storm, 
is not more nicely discriminated by the mariner, than 
the symptoms of an approaching fray by an Irish- 
man ; and scarcely had the foregoing words been 
uttered, than I saw the men tucking up their long 
frieze coats in a sort of jacket-fashion — thus getting 
rid of their tails, like game-cocks before a battle. A 
more menacing grip was taken by the bearer of each 
stick (a usual appendage of Hibernians) ; and a 
general closing-in of the bystanders round the nucleus 
of dissatisfaction, made it perfectly apparent that 
hostilities must soon commence. 

I was not long left in suspense about such a catas- 
trophe, for a general outbreaking soon took place, 
commencing in the centre with the principals already 
noticed, and radiating throughout the whole circle, 
until a general action ensued, and the belligerents 
were dispersed in various hostile groups over the 
churchyard. 

I was a spectator from the topmost step of a stile 
leading into the burial-ground, deeming it imprudent 



48 THE BATTLE OP 

to linger within the precincts of the scene of action, 
when my attention was attracted by the appearance of 
a horseman, who galloped up the little stony road, 
and was no sooner at my side, than he dismounted, 
exclaiming, at the top of his voice, " Oh ! you repro- 
bates, lave off I tell you, you heathens ! Are you 
Christians at all ?" 

I must here pause a moment to describe the person 
of the horseman in question. He was a tall, thin, pale 
man — having a hat, which, from exposure to bad 
weather, had its broad slouching brim crimped into 
many fantastic involutions — its crown somewhat de- 
pressed in the middle, and the edges of the same ex- 
hibiting a napless paleness, very far removed from 
its original black ; no shirt-collar sheltered his angu- 
lar jaw-bones — a narrow white cravat was drawn 
tightly round his spare neck — a single-breasted coat, 
of rusty black, with standing collar, was tightly but- 
toned nearly up to his chin, and a nether garment of 
the same, with large silver knee-buckles, meeting a 
square-cut and buckram-like pair of black leather 
boots, with heavy, plated spurs, that had seen the 
best of their days, completed the picture. His horse 
was a small well-built hack, whose long rough coat 
would have been white, but that soiled litter had 
stained it to a dirty yellow ; and taking advantage of 
the liberty which the abandoned rein afforded, he 
very quietly turned him to the little fringe of grass 
which bordered each side of the path, to make as 
much profit of his time as he might, before his rider 



THE BERRINS. 49 

should resume his seat in the old high-pommelled 
saddle, vA-hich he had vacated, in uttering the ejacu- 
lations I have recorded. 

This person, then, hastily mounting the stile on 
which I stood, with rustic politeness said, "by your 
leave. Sir," as he pushed by me in haste, and jump- 
ing from the top of the wall, proceeded with long and 
rapid strides towards the combatants, and brandish- 
ing a heavy thong whip which he carried, he began 
to lay about him with equal vigour and impartiality 
on each and every of the peace-breakers, both parties 
sharhig in the casUgation thus bestow^ed with the 
most even, and I might add, ^eai'i/-handed justice. 

My surprise was great, on finding, that all the blows 
inflicted by this new^ belligerent, instead of being 
resented by the assaulted parties, seemed taken as if 
resistance against this potent chastiser were vain, 
and in a short tim-e they all fled before him, like so 
many frightened school-boys before an incensed pe- 
dagogue, and huddled themselves together in a 
crowd, w^hicli at once became pacified at his pre- 
sence. 

Seeing this result, I descended from my perch, and 
ran towards the scene that excited my surprise in 
no ordinary degree. I found this ne\v-comer deliver- 
ing to the multitude he had quelled, a severe reproof 
for their ' unchristian doings,' as he termed them ; 
and it became evident that he was the pastor of the 
flock, and it must be acknowledged, a very turbulent 
flock he seemed to have of it. 

This admonition was soon ended. It was certauily 

D 



50 THE BATTLE OF 

impressive, and well calculated for the audience to 
whom it was delivered, as well from the simplicity 
of its language, as the solemnity of its manner, which 
was much enhanced by the deep and somewhat se- 
pulchral voice of the speaker. " And now," added 
the pastor, ^Met me ask you for what you were fight- 
ing like so many wild Indians ; for surely your con- 
duct is liker to savage creatures than men that have 
been bred up in the hearing of God's word ?" 

A pause of a few seconds followed this question ; 
and, at length, some one ventured to answer from 
amongst the crowd, that it was ^4n regard of the 
berrin." 

'' And is not so solemn a sight," asked the priest, 
*' as the burial of the departed, enough to keep down 
the evil passions of your hearts?" 

" Throth then, and plaze your Riverince, it was 
nothin' ill-nathured in life, but only a good-nathured 
turn we wor doin' for poor Paudeen Mooney, that's 
departed; and sure it's to your Riverince we'll be 
goin' immadiantly for the masses for the poor boy's 
sowl." Thus making interest in the offended quarter, 
with an address for which the Irish peasant is pre- 
eminently distinguished. 

'' Tut ! Tut !" rapidly answered the priest ; anxi- 
ous, perhaps, to silence this very palpable appeal to 
his own hiterest. " Don't talk to me about doing 
a good-natured turn. Not," added he, in a subdued 
under-tone, "but that prayers for the souls of the 
faithful departed are enjoined by the church; but 
what has that to do with your scandalous and lawless 



THE BERRINS. 



51 



doings that 1 witnessed this minute ? and you your- 
self," said he, addressing the last speaker, '' one of 
the busiest with your alpeen ? I'm afraid you're 
rather fractious, Rooney — take care that I don't speak 
to you from the altar." 

*' Oh, God forbid that your Riverince id have to do 
the like," said the mother of the deceased, already no- 
ticed, in an imploring tone, and with the big tear- 
drops chasing each other down her cheeks ; " and 
sure it was only they wanted to put my poor boy in 
the ground first, and no wondher sure, as your Ri- 
verince knows, and not to have my poor Paudeen " 

" Tut ! tut ! woman," interrupted the priest, waving 
his hand rather impatiently, " don't let me hear any 
folly." 

^^ I ax your Riverince's pardon, and sure it's my- 
self that id be sorry to ofRnd my clargy — God's bless- 
in' be an them night and day ! But 1 was only goin' 
to put in a word for Mikee Rooney, and sure it wasn't 
him at all, nor wouldn't be any of us, only for Shan 
Gallagher, that wouldn't leave us in pace." 

" Gallagher !" said the priest, in a deeply-reproach- 
ful tone. " Where is he .'*" 

Gallagher came not forward, but the crowd drew 
back, and left him revealed to the priest. His aspect 
was that of sullen indifference, and he seemed to be 
the only person present totally uninfluenced by the 
presence of his pastor, who now advanced towards 
him, and extending his attenuated hand in the atti- 
tude of denunciation towards the offender, said very 
solemnly — 

D 2 



52 THE BATTLE OF 

" I have already spoken to you in the house of wor- 
ship;, and now, once more, I warn you to beware. 
Riot and battle are found wherever you go, and if 
you do not speedily reform your course of life, I shall 
expel you from the pale of the church, and pronounce 
sentence of excommunication upon you from the 
altar." 

Every one appeared awed by the solemnity and se- 
verity of this address from the outset, but when the 
word " excommunication" was uttered, a thrill of 
horror seemed to run through the assembled multi- 
tude ; and even Gallagher himself I thought betrayed 
some emotion on hearing the terrible word. Yet he 
evinced it but for a moment, and turning on his heel, 
he retired from the ground with something of the 
swagger with which he entered it. The crowd 
opened to let him pass, and opened widely, as if they 
sought to avoid contact with one so fearfully denoun- 
ced. 

" You have two coffins here," said the cler- 
gyman, ^'^ proceed therefore immediately to make 
two graves, and let the bodies be interred at the 
same time, and I will read the service for the 
dead." 

No very great time was consumed in making the 
necessary preparation. The '' narrow beds" were 
made, and as their tenants were consigned to their 
last long sleep, the solemn voice of the priest was 
raised in the " De Profundis ;" and when he had con- 
cluded the short and beautiful psalm, the friends of 
the deceased closed the graves, and covered them 



THE BERRINS. 53 

neatly with fresh-cut sodsj which is what Paddy 
very metaphorically calls 

" Putting the daisy quilt over him." 

The clergyman retired from the church-yard, and 
I followed his footsteps for the purpose of introduc- 
ing myself to " his reverence," and seeking from him 
an explanation of what was still a most unfathom- 
able mystery to me, namely, the cause of quarrel, 
which, from certain passages in his address to the 
people I saw he understood, though so slightly 
glanced at. Accordingly, I overtook the priest, and, 
as the Irish song has it, 

" To hiin I obnoxiously made my approaches." 

He received me with courtesy, which, though not 
savouring much of intercourse with polished circles, 
seemed to spring whence all true politeness emanates 
— from a good heart. 

I begged to assure him it was not an impertinent 
curiosity, which made me desirous of becoming ac- 
quainted with the cause of the fray which I had 
witnessed, and he had put a stop to in so summary a 
manner ; and hoped he would not consider it an in- 
trusion if I applied to him for that purpose. 

"No intrusion in life. Sir," answered the priest 
very frankly, and with a rich brogue, whose intona- 
tion was singularly expressive of good-nature. It 
was the specimen of brogue I have never met but in 
one class, the Irish gentleman of the last century — 
an accent, which, though it possessed all the charac- 
teristic traits of ^^ the brogue," was at the same 
time divested of the slightest trace of vulgarity. 



54 THE BATTLE OF 

This is not to be met with now, or at least very 
rarely. An attempt has been made by those who 
fancy it genteel, to graft the English accent upon the 
Broguish stem — and a very bad fruit it has produced. 
The truth is, the accents of the two countries could 
never be happily blended ; and far from making a 
pleasing amalgamation, it conveys the idea that the 
speaker is endeavouring to escape from his own accent 
for what he considers a superior one ; and it is this 
attempt to be fine, which so particularly allies the 
idea of vulgarity with the tone of brogue so often 
heard in the present day. 

Such, I have said, was not the brogue of the Rev. 
Phelim Roach, or Father Roach, as the peasants 
called him ; and his voice, which I have earlier no- 
ticed as almost sepulchral, I found derived that cha- 
racter from the feeling of the speaker when engaged 
in an admonitory address ; for when employed on 
colloquial occasions, it was no more than what might 
be called a rich and deep manly voice. So much for 
Father Roach, who forthwith proceeded to enlighten 
me on the subject of the funeral, and the quarrel 
arising therefrom. 

" The truth is. Sir, these poor people are possessed 
of many foolish superstitions ; and however we may, 
as men, pardon them, looking upon them as fictions 
originating in a warm imagination, and finding a 
ready admission into the minds of an unlettered 
and susceptible peasantry, we cannot, as pastors of 
the flock, admit their belief to the poor people com- 
mitted to our care." 



THE BERRINS. 55 

This was quite new to me ; to find a clergyman of 
the religion I had hitherto heard of as being par ex- 
cellence, abounding in superstition, denouncing the 
very article in question. — But let me not interrupt 
Father Roach. 

"The superstition I speak of," continued he, 
" is one of the many, these warm hearted people 
indulge in, and is certainly very poetical in its tex- 
ture. 

" But, Sir," interrupted my newly-made acquaint- 
ance, pulling forth a richly chased gold watch 
of antique workmanship, that at once suggested 
ideas of the ' hon vieux temps,' " I must ask your par- 
don, I have an engagement to keep at the little hut 
I call my home, which obliges me to proceed there 
forthwith. If you have so much time to spare as will 
enable you to walk with me to the end of this little 
road, it will suffice to make you acquainted with the 
nature of the superstition in question." 

I gladly assented ; and the priest, disturbing the 
nibbling occupation of his hack, threw the rein over 
his arm, and the docile little beast following him on 
one side as quietly as I did on the other, he gave me 
the following account of the cause of all the previous 
riot, as we wound down the little stony path that led 
to the main road. 

" There is a belief amongst the peasantry in this 
particular district, that the ghost of the last person 
interred in the church-yard, is obliged to traverse, un- 
ceasingly, the road between this earth and purgatory, 
carrying water to slake the burning thirst of those 



56 THE BATTLE OP THE BERRINS. 

confined in that ^ limbo large j' and that the ghost is 
thus obliged to walk 

' Through the dead waste and middle of the night,' 

until some fresh arrival of a tenant to the ' narrow 
house/ supplies a fresh ghost to * relieve guard,' if 
I may be allowed so military an expression ; and thus, 
the supply of water to the sufferers in Purgatory is 
kept up unceasingly."* 

Hence it was that the fray had arisen, and the 
poor mother s invocation, '' that her darling boy 
should not be left to wander about the church-yard 
dark and lone in the long nights," became at once 
intelligible. Father Roach gave me some curious 
illustrations of the different ways in which this super- 
stition influenced his " poor people," as he constantly 
called them ; but I suppose my readers have had 
quite enough of the subject, and I shall therefore s^y 
no more of other " cases in point," contented with 
having given them one example, and recording the 
existence of a superstition, which, however wild, un- 
doubtedly owes its existence to an affectionate heart 
and a poetic imagination. 



* A particularly affectionate husband, before depositing the remains 
of his departed wife in the grave, placed a pair of new brogues in her 
coffin, that she might not have to walk all the way to purgatory bare- 
footed. This was vouched for as a fact. 



FATHER ROACH. 



I FOUND the company of Father Roach so plea- 
sant, that I accepted an invitation which he gave 
me, when we arrived at the termination, of our 
walk, to breakfast the next morning at his little 
hut, as he called the unpretending, but neat cottage 
he inhabited, a short mile distant from the church- 
yard where we first met. I repaired, accordingly, the 
next morning, at an early hour to my appointment, and 
found the worthy pastor ready to receive me. He 
met me at the little avenue, (not that I mean to im- 
ply any idea of grandeur by the term), which led 
from the main road to his dwelling — it was a short 
narrow road, bordered on each side by alder bushes, 
and an abrupt, awkward turn, placed you in front of 
the humble dwelling of which he was master : the 
area before it, however, was clean, and the offensive 
dunghill, the intrusive pig, and barking cur-dog were 
not the distinguishing features of this, as unfortu- 
nately they too often are of other Irish cottages. 

d3 



58 FATHER ROACH. 

On entering the house^ an elderly and comfortably- 
clad woman curtsied as we crossed the threshold, 
and I was led across an apartment, whose 

'* Neatly sanded floor — " 

(an earthen one, by the way) — we traversed diago- 
nally to an opposite comer, where an open door 
admitted us into a small but comfortable boarded 
apartment, where breakfast was laid, unostentatiously 
but neatly, and inviting to the appetite, as far as that 
could be stimulated by a white cloth, most promising 
fresh butter, a plate of evidently fresh eggs, and the 
best of cream, whose rich white was most advantage- 
ously set off, by the plain blue ware of which the ewer 
was composed ; add to this, an ample cake of fresh 
griddle bread, and 

" Thongh last, not least," 

the savoury smell that arose from a rasher of 
bacon, which announced itself through the medium 
of more senses than one ; for its fretting and fuming 
in the pan, playing many an ingenious variation upon 
'^ fiz and whiz !" 

" Gave dreadful note of preparation." 

But I must not forget to notice the painted tin tea- 
canister of mine host, which was emblazoned with 
the talismanic motto of 

" O'Connell and Liberty ;" 

and underneath the semicircular motto aforesaid, ap- 
peared the rubicund visage of a lusty gentleman in a 
green coat, holding in his hand a scroll inscribed 
with the dreadful words, " Catholic rent," 

" Unpleasing most to Brunswick ears,'' 



FATHER ROACH. 59 

which was meant to represent no less a personage 
than the " Great Liberator" himself. 

While breakfast was going forward, the priest and 
myself had made no inconsiderable advances towards 
intimacy. Those who have mingled much in the 
world, have often, no doubt, experienced like myself, 
how much easier it is to enter at once, almost, into 
friendship with some, before the preliminaries of com- 
mon acquaintance can be established with others. 

Father Roach was one of the former species. We 
soon sympathised with each other, and becoming, as 
it were, at once possessed of the keys of each other's 
freemasonry, we mutually unlocked our confidence. 
This led to many an interesting conversation with 
the good father, while I remained in his neighbour- 
hood. He gave me a sketch of his life in a few words. 
It was simply this : he was a descendant of a family 
that had once been wealthy and of large possessions 
in the very county, where, as he said himself, he was 
^' a pauper." 

" For what else can I call myself," said the humble 
priest, " when I depend on the gratuitous contribu- 
tions of those who are little better than paupers them- 
selves for my support ? But God's will be done." 

His forefathers had lost their patrimony by re- 
peated forfeitures, under every change of power that 
had distracted the unfortunate Island of which he 
was a native J (A) and for him and his brothers, no- 
thing was left but personal exertion. 

" The elder boys would not remain here," said he, 
" where their religion was a barrier to their promo- 



60 FATHER nOACH. 

tion. They went abroad, and offered their swords to 
the service of a foreign power. They fought and fell 
under the banners of Austria, who disdained not the 
accession of all such strong arms and bold hearts, that 
left their native soil, to be better appreciated in a 
stranger land. 

" I, and a younger brother, who lost his father ere 
he could feel the loss, remained in poor Ireland. I 
was a sickly boy, and was constantly near my belov- 
ed mother — God rest her soul ! — who early instilled 
into my infant mind, deeply reverential notions of 
religion, which at length imbued my mind so strong- 
ly with their influence, that I determined to devote 
my life to the priesthood. I was sent to St Omer 
to study, and on my return, was appointed to the 
ministry, which I have ever since exercised to the 
best of the ability that God has vouchsafed to his 
servant." 

Such was the outline of Father Roach's personal 
and family history. 

In some of the conversations which our intimacy 
originated, I often sought for information, touching 
the peculiar doctrines of his church, and the disci- 
pline which its followers are enjoined to adopt. I 
shall not attempt to weary the reader with an account 
of our arguments ; for the good Father Roach was 
so meek, as to condescend to an argument with one 
unlearned as myself, and a heretic to boot ; nor to 
detail some anecdotes that to me were interesting on 
various points in question. I shall reserve but one 



FATHER ROACH. 61 

fact — and a most singular one it is — to present to my 
readers on the subject of confession. 

Speaking upon this point, I remarked to Father 
Roach, that of all the practices of the Roman Catho- 
lic Church, that of confession I considered the most 
beneficial within the range of its discipline. 

He concurred with me in admitting it as highly- 
advantageous to the sinner. I ventured to add that; 
I considered it very beneficial also to the person sin- 
ned against. 

" Very true," said Father Roach ; " restitution is 
often made through its agency." 

"But in higher cases than those you allude to/' 
said I ; " for instance, the detection of conspiracies, 
unlawful meetings, &c. &c." 

'^^ Confession," said he, somewhat hesitatingly, 
" does not immediately come into action in the way 
you allude to." 

I ventured to hint, rather cautiously, that in this 
kingdom, where the Roman Catholic religion was 
not the one established by law, that there might be 
some reserve between penitent and confessor, on a 
subject where the existing government might be 
looked upon something in the light of a step-mother.* 

A slight flush passed over the priest's pallid face — 
" No, no," said he ; " Do not suspect us of any foul 
play to the power under which we live. — No ! — But 
recollect, the doctrine of our church is this, — that 



• TM* was previously to the passing of the Roman Catholic relief 
l;ill. 



02 FATHER ROACH. 

whatsoever penance may be enjoined on the offending 
penitent by his confessor, his crime, however black, 
must in all cases be held sacred, when its acknow- 
ledgment is made mider the seal of confession." 

" In all cases }" said I. 

" Without an exception," answered he. 

" Then, would you not feel it your duty to give a 
murderer up to justice ?" 

The countenance of Father Roach assumed an in- 
stantaneous change, as if a sudden pang shot through 
him — his lip became, suddenly, ashy pale, he hid his 
face in his hands, and seemed struggling with some 
deep emotion. I feared I had offended, and feeling 
quite confused, began to stammer out some nonsense, 
when he interrupted me. 

" Do not be uneasy," said he. ^' You have said 
nothing to be ashamed of, but your words touched 
a chord," and his voice trembled as he spoke, " that 
cannot vibrate without intense pain;" and wiping 
away a tear that glistened in each humid eye, " I 
shall tell you a story," said he, "that will be the 
strongest illustration of such a case as you have sup- 
posed;" and he proceeded to give me the following 
narrative. 



(A) This has been too often the case in Ireland. Separated as the 
country is from the seat of government, it is only lately that the 
interests of Ireland have Leen an object to Great Britain. To say 
nothing of the earlier oppressions and confiscations, the adherents of 
the first Charles in Ireland were crushed by Cromwell. The forfeitures 
under the Commonwealth were tremendous — " Hell or Connaught," 
still lives as a proverb. Charles II. was not careful to repair the 
wrongs which his subjects suffered for being adherents of his father; 



FATHER ROACH. 63 

and yet their loyalty remained unshaken to the faithless race, in the 
person of the second James. A new eeries of forfeitures then ensued 
under William the Third ; and thus, by degrees, the principal ancient 
faniilies of Ireland had their properties wrested from them, and be- 
stowed upon the troopers of successive invaders; aud for what? 
attachment to the kings to whom they had sworn allegiance. The 
Irish have been, most unjustly, often denominated rebels. We shall 
find, the truth is, if we consult history, their great misfortune has been 
that they were only too loyal. But England is, at length, desirous of 
doing Ireland justice. 



THE PRIEST'S STORY. 



" I HAVE already made known unto you, that a 
younger brother and myself were left to the care of 
my mother — best and dearest of mothers !" said the 
holy man, sighing- deeply, and clasping his hands fer- 
vently, while his eyes were lifted to heaven, as if love 
made him conscious that the spirit of her he lamented 
had found its eternal rest there — " thy gentle and affec- 
tionate nature sunk under the bitter trial, that an all- 
wise providence was pleased to visit thee with ! — Well, 
Sir, Frank was my mother's darling ; not that you 
are to understand by so saying, that she was of that 
weak and capricious tone of mind which lavished its 
care upon one at the expense of the others — far from 
it : never was a deep store of maternal love more 
equally shared, than among the four brothers ; but 
when the two seniors went away, and I was some 
time after sent, for my studies, to St. Omer, 
Frank became the object upon which all the ten- 
derness of her affectionate heart might exercise the 
little maternal cares, that hitherto had been divided 



THE priest's story. 65 

amougst many. Indeed, my dear Frank deserved it 
all : his was the gentlest of natures, combined with a 
mind of singular strength and brilliant imagination. 
In short, as the phrase has it, he was ^the flower of 
the flock,' and great things were expected from him. 
It was some time after my return from St. Omer, 
while preparations were making for advancing Frank 
in the pursuit which had been selected as the business 
of his life, that every hour which drew nearer to the 
moment of his departure made him dearer, not only to 
us, but to all who knew him, and each friend claimed 
a day that Frank should spend with him, which al- 
ways passed in recalling the happy hours they had 
already spent together, in assurances given and re- 
ceived of kindly remembrances that still should be 
cherished, and in mutual wishes for success, with 
many a hearthy prophecy from my poor Frank's 
friends, ' that he would one day be a great man.' 

" One night, as my mother and myself were sitting 
at home beside the fire, expecting Frank's return 
fram one of these parties, my mother said, in an un,- 
usually anxious tone, * I wish Frank was come home.' 

''What makes you think of his return so soon?" 
said I. 

" ' I don't know,' said she; ' but somehow, I'm un- 
easy about him.' 

''Oh, make yourself quiet," said I, "on that sub- 
ject ; we cannot possibly expect Frank for an hour 
to come yet, 

" Still, my mother could not become calm, and 
she fidgetted about the room, became busy in doing 



66 THE priest's story. 

nothing, and now-and-then would go the door of the 
house to listen for the distant trarap of Frank's horse ; 
but Frank came not. 

'' More than the hour I had named, as the probable 
time of his return, had elapsed, and my mother's 
anxiety had amounted to a painful pitch ; and I began, 
myself, to blame my brother for so long and late an 
absence. Still, 1 endeavoured to calm her, and had 
prevailed on her, to seat herself again at the fire, and 
commenced reading a page or two of an amusing 
book, when, suddenly she stopped me, and turned her 
head to the window in the attitude of listening. 
" ^ It is ! it is !' said she ; ' I hear him coming.' 
" And now the sound of a horse's feet in a rapid 
pace became audible. She arose from her chair, and 
with a deeply-aspirated ' Thank God !' went to open 
the door for him herself. I heard the horse now pass 
by the window; in a second or two more, the door 
was opened, and instantly, a fearful scream from my 
mother brought me hastily to her assistance. I found 
her lying in the hall in a deep swoon — the servants of 
the house hastily crowded to the spot, and gave her 
immediate aid. I ran to the door to ascertain the 
cause of my mother's alarm, and there I saw Frank's 
horse panting and foaming, and the saddle empty. 
That my brother had been thrown, and badly hurt, 
was the first thought that suggested itself; and a car 
and horse were immediately ordered to drive in the 
direction he had been returning ; but in a few min- 
utes, our fears were excited to the last degree, by 
discovering there was blood on the saddle. 



THE priest's story. 67 

"We all experienced inconceivable terror at the 
discovery, but, not to weary you with details, suffice it 
to say, that we commenced a diligent search, and at 
length arrived at a small by-way that turned from the 
main road, and led through a bog, which was the 
nearest course for my brother to have taken home- 
wards, and we accordingly began to explore it. I 
was mounted on the horse my brother had ridden, 
and the animal snorted violently, and exhibited evident 
symptoms of dislike to retrace this by-way, that, I 
doubted not, he had already travelled that night ; and 
this very fact made me still more apprehensive, that 
some terrible occurrence must have taken place, to 
occasion such excessive repugnance on the part of the 
animal. However, I urged him onward, and telling 
those who accompanied me, to follow with what speed 
they might, I dashed forward, followed by a faithful 
dog of poor Frank's. At the termination of about half 
a mile, the horse became still more impatient of re- 
straint, and started at every ten paces ; and the dog 
began to traverse the little road, giving an oceasional 
yelp, sniffing the air strongly, and lashing his sides 
with his tail as if on some scent. At length he came 
to a stand, and beat about within a very circumscribed 
space — yelping occasionally, as if to draw my atten- 
tion. I dismounted immediately, but the horse was 
so extremely restless, that the difficulty I had in 
holding him prevented me from observing the road 
by the light of the lantern which I carried. I per- 
ceived, however, it was very much trampled hereabouts, 
and bore evidence of having been the scene of a strug- 



68 THE priest's story. 

gle» I shouted to the party in the rear, who soon came 
up, and lighted some faggots of bog- wood which they 
brought with them to assist in our search, and we now 
more clearly distinguished the marks I have alluded 
to. The dog still howled, and indicated a particular 
spot to us; and on one side of the path, upon the stunt- 
ed grass, we discovered a quantity of fresh blood, 
and I picked up a pencil-case that I knew had be- 
longed to my murdered brother — for I now was 
compelled to consider him as such ; and an attempt 
to describe the agonised feelings which at that mo- 
ment I experienced would be vain. We continued 
our search for the discovery of his body for many 
hours without success, and the morning was far ad- 
vanced before we returned home. How changed a 
home from the preceding day ! My beloved mother 
could scarcely be roused, for a moment, from a sort of 
stupor that seized upon her, when the paroxysm of 
frenzy was over, which the awful catastrophe of the 
fatal night had produced. If ever heart was broken, 
hers was. She lingered but a few weeks after the 
son she adored, and seldom spoke during the period, 
except to call upon his name. 

" But I will not dwell on this painful theme. Suf- 
fice it to say — she died ; and her death, under such 
circumstances, increased the sensation which my bro- 
ther's mysterious murder had excited. Yet, with all 
the horror which was universally entertained for the 
crime, and the execrations poured upon its atrocious 
perpetrator, still, the. doer of the deed remained 
undiscovered ; and even I, who of course was the 



THE priest's story. 69 

most active in seeking to develope the mystery, not 
only could catch no clue to lead to the discovery of 
the murderer, but failed even to ascertain where the 
mangled remains of my lost brother had been depo- 
sited. 

''^ It was nearly a year after the fatal event, that a 
penitent knelt to me, and confided to the ear of his 
confessor the misdeeds of an ill-spent life ; I say of 
his whole life — for he had never before knelt at the 
confessional. 

" Fearful was the catalogue of crime that was re- 
vealed to me — unbounded selfishness, oppression, 
revenge, and lawless passion, had held unbridled in- 
fluence over the unfortunate sinner, and sensuality in 
all its shapes, even to the polluted home and betrayed 
maiden, had plunged him deeply into sin. 

"I was shocked — I may even say I was disgusted, 
and the culprit himself seemed to shrink from the reca- 
pitulation of his crimes, which he found more extensive 
and appalling than he had dreamed of, until the recital 
of them called them all up in fearful array before him. 
I was about to commence an admonition, when he in- 
terrupted me — he had more to communicate. I desired 
him to proceed — he writhed before me. I enjoined 
him in the name of the God he had offended, and 
who knoweth the inmost heart, to make an unreserv- 
ed disclosure of his crimes, before he dared to seek a 
reconciliation with his Maker. At length, after many 
a pause, and convulsive sob, he told me, in a voice 
almost suffocated by terror, that he had been guilty 
of bloodshed. I shuddered, but in a short time I 



70 THE priest's story. 

recovered myself, and asked how and where he had 
deprived a fellow creature of life ? Never, to the 
latest hour of my life, shall I forget the look which 
the miserable sinner gave me at that moment. His 
eyes were glazed, and seemed starting from their 
sockets with terror ; his face assumed a deadly pale- 
ness — he raised his clasped hands up to me in the 
most imploring action, as if supplicating mercy, and 
with livid and quivering lips, he gasped out — ' 'Twas 
I who killed your brother !' 

" Oh God ! how I felt at that instant ! Even now, 
after the lapse of years, I recollect the sensation : it 
was, as if the blood were flowing back upon my heart, 
until I felt as if it would burst ; and then, a few 
convulsive breathings, — and back rushed the blood 
again through my tingling veins. I thought I was 
dying ; but suddenly I uttered an hysteric laugh, and 
fell back, senseless, in my seat. 

*' When I recovered, a cold sweat was pouring 
down my forehead, and I was weeping copiously. 
Never, before, did I feel my manhood annihilated 
under the influence of an hysterical affection — it was 
dreadful. 

" I found the bloodstained sinner supporting me, 
roused from his own prostration by a sense of terror 
at my emotion ; for when I could hear any thing, his 
entreaties that I would not discover upon him, were 
poured forth in the most abject strain of supplica- 
tion. ' Fear not for your miserable life,' said I; 'the 
seal of confession is upon what you have revealed to 
me, and so far you are safe : but leave me for the 



THE priest's story. 71 

present, and come not to me again mitil I send for 
you/ — He departed. 

" I knelt and prayed for strength to Him who 
alone could give it, to fortify me in this dreadful trial. 
Here was the author of a brother's murder, and a 
mother's consequent death, discovered to me in the 
person of my penitent. It was a fearflil position for 
a frail mortal to be placed in : but, as a consequence 
of the holy calling I professed, I hoped, through the 
blessing of Him whom I served, to acquire fortitude 
for the trial into which the ministry of his Gospel 
had led me. 

''^ The fortitude I needed came through prayer, and 
when I thought myself equal to the task, I sent for 
the murderer of my brother. I officiated for him, as 
our church has ordained — I appointed penances to 
him, and, in short, dealt with him merely as any other 
confessor might have done. 

" Years thus passed away, and during that time he 
constantly attended his duty ; and it was remarked 
through the country, that he had become a quieter 
person since Father Roach had become his confessor. 
But still he was not liked — and indeed, I fear he was 
far from a reformed man, though he did not allow his 
transgressions to be so glaring as they were wont to 
be ; and I began to think that terror and cunning had 
been his motives in suggesting to him the course he 
had adopted, as the opportunities which it gave him 
of being often with me as his confessor, were likely 
to lull every suspicion of his guilt in the eyes of the 
world; and in making me the depository of his fear- 



7^ THE PRIEST S ^TORY. 

ful secret, he thus placed himself beyond the power 
of my pursuit, and interposed the strongest barrier 
to my becoming the avenger of his bloody deed. 

" Hitherto I have not made you acquainted with 
the cause of that foul act — it was jealousy. He 
found himself rivalled by my brother in the good 
graces of a beautiful girl of moderate circumstances, 
whom he would have wished to obtain as his wife, 
but to whom Frank had become an object of greater 
interest, and I doubt not, had my poor fellow been 
spared, that marriage would ultimately have drawn 
closer the ties that were so savagely severed. But 
the ambuscade and the knife had done their deadly 
work ; for the cowardly villain had lain in wait for 
him on the lonely bog-road he guessed he would tra- 
vel on that fatal night, and springing from his lurking 
place, he stabbed my noble Frank in the back. 

'^ Well Sir, I fear I am tiring you with a story 
which, you cannot wonder, is interesting to me ; but I 
shall hasten to a conclusion. 

" One gloomy evening in March, I was riding along 
the very road where my brother had met his fate, in 
company with his murderer. I know not what 
brought us together in such a place, except the hand 
of Providence, that sooner or later brings the mur- 
derer to justice ; for I was not wont to pass the road, 
and loathed the company of the man who happened 
to overtake me upon it. 1 know not whether it was 
some secret visitation of conscience that influenced 
him at the time, or that he thought the lapse of 
years had wrought upon me so far, _as to obliterate 



THE priest's story. *JS 

the grief for my brother's death, which had never 
been, till this moment alluded to, however remotely, 
since he confessed his crime. Judge then my sur- 
prise, when, directing my attention to a particular 
point in the bog, he said, 

" ' 'Tis close by that place that your brother is 
buried.' 

'' I could not, I think, have been more astonished 
had my brother appeared before me. 

"^ What brother?' said I. 

" ' Your brother Frank,' said he ; ^ 'twas there I 
buried him, poor fellow, after I killed him.' 

" ' Merciful God !' I exclaimed, ' thy will be done,' 
and seizing the rein of the culprit's horse, I said, 
^ Wretch, that you are, you have owned to the 
shedding of the innocent blood, that has been crying 
to heaven for vengence these ten years, and I arrest 
you here, as my prisoner.' 

" He turned ashy pale, as he faltered out a few 
words, to say, I had promised not to betray him. 

" 'Twas under the seal of confession," said I, '' that 
you disclosed the deadly secret, and under that seal my 
lips must have been for ever closed j but now, even 
in the very place where your crime was committed, 
it has pleased God that you should arraign yourself 
in the face of the world, and the brother of your vic- 
tim is appointed to be the avenger of his innocent 
blood. 

" He was overwhelmed by the awfulness of this 
truth, and unresistingly he rode beside me to the 

adjacent town of , where he was committed for 

trial. 



74 THE priest's story. 

" The report of this singular and providential dis- 
covery of a murder, excited a great deal of interest in 
the country ; and as I was known to be the culprit's 
confessor, the Bishop of the diocese forwarded a state- 
ment to a higher quarter, which procured for me a 
dispensation as regarded the confessions of the crim- 
inal ; and I was handed this instrument, absolving me 
from further secrecy, a few days before the trial. I 
was the principal evidence against the prisoner. The 
body of my brother had, in the interim, been found 
in the spot his murderer had indicated, and the bog 
preserved it so far from decay, as to render recogni- 
tion a task of no difficulty ; and proof was so satis- 
factorily adduced to the jury, that the murderer was 
found guilty and executed, ten years after he had 
committed the crime. 

" The judge pronounced a very feeling comment on 
the nature of the situation in which I had been placed 
for so many years ; and passed a very flattering eulo- 
gium upon what he was pleased to call, ' my heroic 
observance of the obligation ofsecrecy, by which I had 
been bound.' 

" Thus Sir, you see how sacred a trust, that of a 
fact, revealed under confession, is held by our church, 
when, even the avenging a brother's murder, was not 
sufficient warranty for its being broken."* 

* This story is fact, and the comment of the judge upon the priest's 
fidelity, I am happy to say, is true. 



THE KING AND THE BISHOP. 

A LEGEND OF CLONMACNOISE. 



•' Gwldensfern.— The King, Sir, 

Hamlet.— Ay, Sir, what of him ? 

Gw'l, — Is^ in his retirement, marvellous distempered. 

Hatn.— With drink. Sir? 

Gw'l. — No, my lord." 

There are few things more pleasant to those who 
are doomed to pass the greater part of their lives in 
the dust and smoke and din of a city^ than to get on 
the top of a stage-coach, early some fine summer 
morning, and whirl along through the yet unpeopled 
streets, echoing from their emptiness to the rattle of 
the welcome wheels that are bearing you away from 
your metropolitan prison to the 

«< Free blue streams and the laughing sky" 

of the sweet country. How gladly you pass the last 
bridge over one of the canals, and then, deeming your- 
self fairly out of town, you look back once only on its 
receding " groves of chimneys," and settling yourself 
comfortably in your seat, you cast away care, and look 
forward in gleeful anticipation of your three or four 
weeks in the tranquillity and freedom of a country 
ramble. 

e2 



76 THE KING AND 

Such have my sensations often been ; not a little 
increased, by the bye_, as I hugged closer to my side 
my portfolio, well stored with paper, and heard the 
rattle of my pencils and colours in the tin sketching- 
box in my pocket. Such were they when last I started 
one fresh and lovely summer's morning, on the Balin- 
asloe coach, and promised myself a rich treat in a 
visit to Clanmacnoise, or "the Churches," as the place 
is familiarly called by the peasantry. Gladly I de- 
scended from my lofty station on our dusty conveyance, 
when it arrived at Shannon-bridge, and engaging a 
boat, embarked on the noble river whence the village 
takes its name, and proceeded up the wide and wind- 
ing stream, to the still sacred, and once celebrated 
Clonmacnoise, the second monastic foundation estab- 
lished in Ireland, once tenanted by the learned and 
the powerful, now scarcely known but to the mendi- 
cant pilgrim, the learned antiquary, or the vagrant 
lover of the picturesque. 

Here, for days together, have I lingered, watching 
its noble "ivy mantled" tower, reposing in shadow, 
or sparkling in sunshine, as it spired upward in bold 
relief against the sky ; or admiring the graceful invo- 
lutions of the ample Shannon that wound beneath the 
gentle acclivity on which I stood, through the plashy 
meadows and the wide waste of bog, whose rich 
brown tones of colour faded into blue on the horizon; 
or in noting the red tanned sail of some passing turf- 
boat, as it broke the monotony of the quiet river, or 
in recording with my pencil the noble stone cross, or 
the tracery of some mouldering ruin, 

" Where ivied arch, or pillar lone— _ 
Plead haughtily for glories gone." 

Though I should not say "haughtily," for poor old 



THE BISHOP. 77 

Clonmacnoise pleads with as much humility as the 
religion which reared her now does ; and which, like 
her, interesting in the attitude of decay, teaches, and 
appeals to our sympathies and our imagination, instead 
of taking the strong holds of our reason by storm, 
and forcing our assent by overwhelming batteries of 
irrefragable proof, before it seeks to win our will by 
tender and impassioned appeals to the heart. But I 
wander from Clonmacnoise. It is a truly solemn and 
lonely spot ; I love it almost to a folly, and have wan- 
dered day after day through its quiet cemetery, till I 
have almost made acquaintance with its ancient 
grave-stones. 

One day I was accosted by a peasant, who had 
watched for a long time, in silent wonder, the draft 
of the stone cross, as it grew into being beneath my 
pencil ; and finding the man " apt," as the ghost says 
to Hamlet, I entered into conversation with him. To 
some remark of mine touching the antiquity of the 
place, he assured me "it was a/ine ould place, in the 
auld ancient times." In noticing the difference be- 
tween the two round towers, for there two very fine 
ones at Clonmacnoise, one on the top of the hill, and 
one close beside the plashy bank of the river, he ac- 
counted for the difference by a piece of legendary in- 
formation with which he favoured me, and which 
may, perhaps, prove of sufiicient importance to inter- 
est the reader. 

" You see, sir," said he, " the one down there be- 
yant, at the river side, was built the first, and finished 
complate entirely, for the roof is an it, you see ; but 
when that was built, the bishop thought that another 



78t THE KING AND 

id look very purty on the hill beyant, and so he Bid 
the masons set to work, and build up another tower 
there. 

'^ Well, away they went to work, as busy as 
nailers; troth it was just like a bee-hive, every man 
with his hammer in his hand, and sure the tower was 
complated in due time. Well, when the last stone 
was laid an the roof, the bishop axes the masons how 
much he was to pay them, and they ups and tould 
him their price ; but the bishop, they say, was a ney- 
gar, (niggard) God forgi' me for saying the word of 
so holy a man ! and he said, they ax'd too much, and 
he would'nt pay them. With that, my jew'l, the 
masons said they would take no less ; and what would 
you think, but the bishop had the cunnin' to take away 
the ladthers that was reared up agin the tower. 

" ^ And now,' says he, ' my gay fellows,' says he, 
* the divil a down out o' that you 11 come antil you 
lam manners, and take what's offered to yees,' says 
he; 'and when yees come down in your price, you 
may come down yourselves into the bargain.* 

" Well, sure enough, he kep his word, and wouldn't 
let man or mortyel go nigh them to help them ; and 
faiks the masons did'nt like the notion of losing their 
honest airnins, and small blame to them ; but sure 
they wor starvin* all the time, and did'nt know what 
in the wide world to do, when there was a fool chanc'd 
to pass by, and seen them. 

*' ' Musha ! but you look well there,' says the in- 
nocent,' ' an' how are you ?' says he. 

" ' Not much the betther av your axin' says they. 

" ' Maybe you're out there,' says he. So he ques- 



THE BISHOP. 79 

tioned them^ and they tould him how it was with 
them^ and how the bishop tuk away the ladthers^, and 
they could'nt come down. 

" ' Tut, you fools/ says he, ' sure is'nt it aisier to 
take down two stones nor to put up one ?' 

" Was'nt that mighty cute 0' the fool, sir ? And 
wid that, my dear sowl, no sooner said nor done. 
Faiks the masons begun to pull down their work, and 
whin they went an for some time, the bishop bid 
them stop, and he'd let them down ; but faiks, before 
he gev in to them they had taken the roof clane off; 
and that's the raison that one tower has a roof, sir, 
and the other has none/' 

But before I had seen Clonmacnoise and its towers, 
I was intimate with the most striking of its legends, 
by favour of the sinewy boatman who rowed me to it 
We had not long left Shannon-bridge, when, doubling 
an angle of the shore, and stretching up a reach of 
the river where it widens, the principal round tower 
of Clonmacnoise became visible. 

" What tower is that .''" said I to my Charon. 

^' That's the big tower of Clonmacnoise, Sir," he 
answered; '*^ an' if your honor looks sharp a little to 
the right of it, lower down, you'll see the ruins of the 
ould palace." 

On a somewhat closer inspection, I did perceive 
the remains he spoke of, dimly discernible in the 
distance ; and it was not without his indication of 
their relative situation to the tower, that I could 
have distinguished them from the sober gray of the 
horizon behind them, for the evening was closing 
fast, and we were moving eastward. 



80 THE KING AND 

" Does your honor see it yit/' said my boatman. 

" I do/' said I. 

''God spare you your eye-sight/' responded he, 
"for troth it's few gintlemen could see the ould 
palace this far off, and the sun so low, barrin' they 
were used to sportin'j and had a sharp eye for the 
birds over a bog, or the like o' that. Oh, then, it's 
Clonmacnoise, your honor, that's the holy place," 
continued he ; " mighty holy in 'the ould ancient 
times, and mighty great too, wid the sivin churches, 
let alone the two towers, and the bishop, and plinty 
o' priests, and all to that." 

" Two towers !" said I ; '^ then I suppose one has 
fallen?" 

'' Not at all Sir," said he ; " but the other one that 
you can't see, is beyant in the hollow by the river 
side." 

" And it was a great place, you say, in the ould 
ancient times ?" 

" Troth it was, Sir, and is still, for to this day it 
bates the world in the regard of pilgrims." 

"^ Pilgrims!" I ejaculated. 

" Yes, Sir," said the boatman, with his own quiet 
manner ; although it was evident to a quick observer, 
that my surprise at the mention of pilgrims had not 
escaped him. 

I mused a moment. Pilgrims, thought I, in the 
British dominions, in the nineteenth century — strange 
enough ! 

"And so," continued I aloud, "you have pilgrims 
at Clonmacnoise ?" 

" Troth we have, your honor, from the top of the 



THE BISHOP. 81 

north and the farthest corner of Kerry ; and you 
may see them any day in the week, let alone the pa- 
thern (patron) day, when all the world, you'd think, 
was there." 

'' And the palace/' said I, " I suppose belonged to 
the bishop of Clonmacnoise ?" 

'' Some says 'twas the bishop, your honor, and in- 
deed it is them that has larnin' says so ; but more 
says 'twas a king had it long ago, afore the churches 
was there at all at all ; and sure enough it looks far 
oulder nor the churches, though them is ould enough, 
God knows. All the knowledgeable people I ever 
heerd talk of it, says that; and now. Sir," said he, in an 
expostulatory tone, " wouldn't it be far more nath'ral 
that the bishop id live in the churches ? And sure," 
continued he, evidently leaning to the popular belief, 
" it stands to raison that a king id live in a palace, 
and why shud it be called a palace, if a king didn't 
live there ?" 

Satisfying himself with this most logical conclusion, 
he pulled his oar with evident self-complacency ; and 
as I have always found I derived more legendary in- 
formation by yielding somewhat to the prejudices of 
the narrator, and by abstaining from inflicthig any 
wound on his pride (so Irish a failing) by laughing 
at, or endeavouring to combat his credulity, I seemed 
to favour his conclusion, and admitted that a king 
must have been the ci-devant occupant of the palace. 
So much being settled, he proceeded to tell me that 
"there was a mighty quare story" about the last 
king that ruled Clonmacnoise ; and having expressed 
an eager desire to hear the quare story — he seemed 

E 3 



»a THE KING AND 

quite happy at being called on to fulfil the office of 
chronicler ; and pulling his oar with an easier sweep, 
lest he might disturb the quiet hearing of his legend 
by the rude splash of the water, he prepared to tell 
his tale, and I, to " devour up his discourse." 

" Well, Sir, they say there was a king wanst lived 
in the palace beyant, and a sportin' fellow he was, 
and Cead mile failte* was the word in the palace : 
no one kem but was welkiui, and 1 go bail the sorra 
one left it without the deoch an doriSjf — well, to be 
sure, the king av coorse had the best of eatin* and 
drinkin', and there was bed and boord for the Stran- 
ger, let alone the welkim for the neighbours — and a good 
neighbour he was, by all accounts, antil, as bad luck 
would have it, a crass ould bishop, (the saints forgi' 
me for saying the word) kem to rule over the churches. 
Now, you must know, the king was a likely man, 
and, as I said already, he was a sportin' fellow, and 
by coorse a great favourite with the women ; he had 
a smile and a wink for the crathers at every hand's 

turn, and the soft word, and the the short and the 

long of it is, he was the divil among the girls. 

" Well Sir, it was all mighty well, untell the ould 
bishop I mintioned arrived at the churches ; but whin 
he kem, he tuk great scandal at the goins-an of the 
king, and he detarmined to cut him short in his 
coorses all at wanst; so with that, whin the king 
wint to his duty, the bishop ups and he tells him that 
he must mend his manners, and all to that ; and when 
the king said that the likes o' that was never tould 

• A hundred thousand welcomes, 
t The parting flip. 



THE BISHOP. 83 

him afore by the best priest of them all, ^ more shame 
for them that wor before me/ says the bishop. 

^^But to make a long story short, the king 
looked mighty black at the bishop, and the bishop 
looked twice blacker at him agin, and so on, from 
bad to worse, till they parted the bittherest of inimies ; 
and the king, that was the best o' friends to the 
churches afoie, swore be this an' be that, he'd vex 
them for it, and that he'd be even with the bishop 
afore long. 

" Now Sir, the bishop might jist as well have kept 
never mindin' the king's little kimmeens with the girls, 
for the story goes that he had a little failin' of his 
own in the regard of adhrop, and that he knew the differ 
betune wine and water, for, poor ignorant crathurs, it's 
little they knew about whiskey in them days. Well, 
the king used ofteij to send iashins of wine to the 
churches, by the way, as he said, that they should 
have plinty of it for celebrating the mass — although 
he knew well that it was a little of it went far that- 
a- way, and that their Rivirences was fond of a hearty 
glass as well as himself, and why not. Sir ? — if they'd 
let him alone ; for, says the king, as many a one said 
afore and will agin, I'll make a child's bargain with 
you, says he, do you let me alone, and I'll let you 
alone ; manin by that. Sir, that if they'd say nothin' 
about the girls, he would give them plinty of wine. 

" And £0 it fell out a little before he had the scrim- 
mage* with the bishop, the king promised them a 
fine store of wine that was comin' up the Shannon in 

♦ Evidently derived fioin the French eicrimfr. 



84 



THE KING AND 



boats^ Sir, and big boats they wor, I'll go bail— not 
all as one as the little drolleen (wren) of a thing we're 
in now, but nigh hand as big as a ship ; and there 
was three of these fine boats-full comin' — two for 
himself, and one for the churches ; and so says the 
king to himself, ' the divil receave the dhrop of that 
wine they shall get,' says he, 'the dirty beggarly 
neygars J bad cess to the dhrop,' says he, ' my big-bel- 
lied bishop, to nourish your jolly red nose — I said I'd be 
even with you,' says he, * and so I will ; and if you 
spoil my divarshin, I'll spoil yours, and turn about is 
fair play, as the divil said to the smoke-jack.' So 
with that, Sir, the king goes and he gives orders to 
his sarvants how it wid be when the boats kem up 
the river with the wine — and more especial to one in 
partic'lar they called Corny, his own man, by raison 
he was mighty stout, and didn't love priests much 
more nor himself. 

" Now, Corny, Sir, let alone bein' stout, was mighty 
dark, and if he wanst said the word, you might as 
well sthrive to move therockofDunamaise as Corny, 
though without a big word at all at all, but as quite 
(quiet) as a child. Well, in good time, up kem the 
boats, and down runs the monks, all as one as a flock 
o' crows over a corn-field, to pick up whatever they 
could for themselves ; but troth the king was afore 
them, for all his men was there, and Corny at their 
head. 

" 'Dominus voMscum,' (which manes, God save you. 
Sir,) says one of the monks to Corny, ' we kem down 
to save you the throuble of unloading the wine, which 
the king, God bless him, gives to the church.' 






THE MTSTG 3c THE. BISHOP 



W. 





1 »N.\I 



m%i 







'i'Ut^aa'i^ ^^C6^t^ ■ 



^M ^^2^ 



THE BISHOP. 85 

" ' Oh, no throuble in life, plaze your Rivirence/ 
says Corney, ' we'll unload it ourselves, your Rivir- 
ence/ says he. 

" So with that they began unloading, first one boat 
and then another ; but sure enough, every individyial 
cashk of it wint up to the palace, and not a one to the 
churches : so when they seen the second boat a'most 
empty, qnare thoughts began to come into their heads, 
for before this offer, the first boat-load was always 
sent to the bishop, afore a dhrop was taken to the 
king, which, you know, was good manners, Sir ; and 
the king, by all accounts, was a gintlemun every inch 
of him. So, with that, says one of the monks : 

" ' My blessin' an you. Corny, my son,' says he, ^sure 
it's not forgettin' the bishop you'd be, nor the churches, 
says he, '^that stands betune you and the divil.' 

" Well, Sir, at the word divil, 'twas as good as a 
play to see the look Corny gave out o' the corner of 
his eye at the monk. 

" ' Forget yez,* says Corny, ^troth its long afore me 
or my masther,' says he, (nodding his head a bit at 
the word,) ' will forget the bishop of Clonmacnoise. 
Go an with your work, boys,' says he to the men about 
him, and away they wint and soon finished unloadin' 
the second boat ; and with that they began at the 
third. 

" ' God bless your work, boys,' says the bishop ; 
for sure enough 'twas the bishop himself kem down 
to the river side, having got the hard word of what 
was going on. ' God bless your work,' says he, as 
they heaved the first barrel of wine out of the 
boat. 



86 THE KING AND 

'^ ^ Go, help them, my sons/ says he, to half a dozen 
strappin' young priests was standing by. 

" ' No occasion in life, plaze your Rivirence,' says 
Corny ; ' I'm intirely obleeged to your lordship, but 
we're able for the work ourselves,' says he. And 
without saying another word away went the barrel 
out of the boat, and up on their shouldhers, or what- 
ever way they wor takin' it, and up the hill to the 
palace. 

" ^ Hillo !' says the bishop, ' where are yiz going 
with that wine ?' says he. 

" " Where I tould them,' says Coniy. 

" ' Is it to the palace ?' says his Rivirence. 

"' Faith you just hit it,' says Corny. 

" ' And what's that for ?' says the bishop. 

'' ' For fun,' says Corny, no ways frikened at all by 
the dark look the bishop gave him. And sure it's 
a wondher the fear of the church didn't keep him in 
dread — but Corny was the divil intirely. 

" ' Is that the answer you give your clargy, you re- 
probate ?' says the bishop. ' I'll tell you what it is. 
Corny,' says he, 'as sure as you're standin' there 
rU excommunicate you, my fine fellow, if you don't 
keep a civil tongue in your head/ 

"'Sure it wouldn't be worth your Rivirence's while,' 
says Corny, ' to excommunicate the likes o' me,' says 
he, ' while there's the king my masther to the fore, 
for your holiness to play bell book and candle-light 
with.* 

" ' Do you mane to say, you sprufF of the earth,' 
says the bishop, ' that your masther, the king, put you 
up to what you're doing ?' 



THE BISHOP. 87 

" ' Divil a thing else I mane/ says Corny. 

" ^ You villian I' says the bishop, ' the king never 
did the like.' 

^' ' Yes, but I did though,* says the king, puttin' in 
his word fair and aisy ; for he was lookin' out of his 
dhrawin -room windy, and run down the hill to the 
river, when he seen the bishop goin', as he thought, 
to put his comether upon Corny. 

'^ ' So,' says the bishop, turnin' round quite short 
to the king—' so, my lord,' says he, ' am I to undher- 
stand, this villian has your commands for his purty 
behavor ?' 

" ' He has my commands for what he done,' says 
the king, quite stout; 'and more be token, I'd have 
you to know he's no villian at all,' says he, ' but a 
thrusty sarvant, that does his masther's biddin'. 

" ' And don't you intind sendin' any of this wine 
over to my churches beyant ?' says the bishop. 

" ' The divil resave the dhrop,' says the king. 

" ' And what for ?' says the bishop. 

" ' Bekase I've changed my mind,' says the king. 

" " And won't you give the church wine for the 
holy mass ?' says the bishop. 

" ' The mass !' says the king, eyein' him mighty 
sly. 

" ' Yes, Sir — the mass,' says his Rivirence, colour- 
ing up to the eyes — ' the mass.* 

" ' Oh, Baithershin !' says the king. 

" ' What do you mane ?' says the bishop, and his 
nose got blue with the fair rage. 

" ' Oh, nothin',' says the king, with a toss of his 
head. 



8B THE KING AND 

" ' Are you a gintleman/ says the bishop. 

" ^ Every inch o' me/ says the king. 

'^ ' Then sure no gintleman goes back of his word/ 
says the other. 

" * I won't go back o' my word, either/ says the 
king. — ' I promised to give wine for the mass/ says 
he, ^ and so I will. Send to my palace every Sunday 
mornin', and you shall have a bottle of wine, and 
that's plinty ; for I'm thinkin',' says the king, ' that 
so much wine lyin' beyant there, is neither good for 
your bodies nor your sowls.' 

" ' What do you mane ?' says the bishop, in a great 
passion, for all the world like a turkey-cock. 

^' ^ I mane, that when your wine-cellars is so full,' 
says the king, ^it only brings the fairies about you, 
and makes away with the wine too fast,' says he, 
laughin' ; ^ and the fairies to be about the churches 
isn't good, your Rivirence,' says the king ; ' for I'm 
thinkin',' says he, ' that some of the spiteful little 
divils has given your Rivirence a blast, and burnt the 
ind iv your nose.' 

" With that, my dear, you couldn't hould the bi- 
shop, with the rage he was in ; and says he, ^ You 
think to dhrink all that wine, but you're mistaken, 
says he — *■ fill your cellars as much as you like,' says 
the bishop, ' hut you'll die of drooth yit' — and with 
that he went down an his knees and cursed the king, 
(God betune us and harm,) and shaking his fist at 
him, he gother (gathered) all his monks about him, 
and away they wint home to the churches. 

" Well, Sir, sure enough, the king fell_sick of a sud- 
dent, and all the docthors in the countrv round was 



THE BISHOP. by 

sent for ; — but they could do him no good at all at all 
— and day by day he was wastin' and wasting and 
pmin' and pinin', till the flesh was wore off his bones, 
and he was as bare and as yollow as a kite's claw ; 
and then, what would you think, but the drooth came 
an him sure enough, and he was callin' for dhrink 
every minit, till you'd think he'd dhrink the sae dhry. 
" Well, when the clock struck twelve that night, 
the drooth was an him worse nor ever, though he 
dhrunk as much that day — aye, throth, as much as 
would turn a mill ; and he called to his sarvants for 
a dhrink of grule (gruel.) 

" ' The grule's all out,' says they. 
'' ' Well, then, give me some whay/ says he. 
" ' There's none left, my lord,' says they. 
" ' Then give me a dhrink of wine,' says he. 
" ' There's none in the room, dear,' says the nurse- 
tindher. 

"^Then go down to the wine-cellar,' says he, 
' and get some.' 

'^With that, they wint to the wine-cellar, but, 
jew'l machree, they soon run back into his room, with 
their faces as white as a sheet, and tould him there 
was not one dhrop of wine in all the cashks in the 
cellar. 

" ' Oh, murther ! murther !' says the king, ' I'm 
dyin of drooth,' says he. 

" And then, God help iz ! they bethought them- 
selves of what the bishop said, and the curse he laid 
an the king. 

" ' You've no grule ?' says the king. 
"- ' No,' says they. 



90 THE KING AND 

" ' Nor whay T 

" ^ No,' says the sarvants. 

'^ ' Nor wine ?' says the king. 

" ^ Nor wine, either, my lord/ says they. 

" ' Have you no tay T says he. 

'^ ^ Not a dhrop/ says the nurse-tindher. 

*' ^ Then,' says the king, ^ for the tindher marcy of 
God, gi' me a dhrink of wather.' 

" And what would you think. Sir, but there wasn't 
a dhrop of wather in the place. 

" ' Oh, murther ! murther !' says the king, ' isn't it 
a poor case, that a king can't get a dhrink of wather 
in his own house? Go then,' says he, 'and get me 
a jug of wather out of the ditch/ 

" For there was a big ditch. Sir, all round the pa- 
lace. And away they run for wather out of the 
ditch, while the king was roarin' like mad, for the 
drooth, and his mouth like a coal of fire. And sure. 
Sir, the story goes, they couldn't find any wather in 
the ditch ! 

" ' Millia murther ! millia murther !' cries the king, 
'will no one take pity an a king that's dyin' for the 
hare drooth ?' 

" And they all thrimbled agin, with the fair fright, 
when they heerd this, and thought of the ould bi- 
shop's prophecy. 

" ' Well,' says the poor king, * run down to the 
Shannon,' says he, ' and sure, at all events, you'll get 
wather there,' says he. 

" Well, Sir, away they run with pails and noggins, 
down to the Shannon, and, (God betune us and harm !) 
what do you think, Sir, but the river Shannon 



THE BISHOP. 91 

was dhry ! So, av coorse, when the king heerd the 
Shannon was gone dhry, it wint to his heart ; and he 
thought o' the bishop's curse an him — and, givin' one 
murtherin' big screech, that split the walls of the 
palace, as may be seen to this day, he died. Sir — 
makin' the bishop's words good, that 'he would die of 
drooth yit /' 

"^ And now. Sir," says my historian, with a look of 
lurking humour in his dark gray eye, "isn't that 
mighty wondherful iv it's thrue ?" 



AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 



" A fool, a fool ! 1 met a fool i' the forest," 

jis you like it. 

As some allusion has been made in the early part 
of the foregoing story to a fool, this, perhaps, is the 
fittest place to say something of fools in general. Be 
it understood, I only mean fools by profession ; for 
were amateur fools included, an essay on fools in 
general, would be no trifling undertaking. And, fur- 
ther, I mean to limit myself within still more circum- 
scribed bounds, by treating of the subject only as it 
regards that immediate part of his Majesty's domi- 
nions called Ireland. 

In Ireland, the fool, or natural, or innocent, (for 
by all these names he goes,) as represented in the 
stories of the Irish peasantry, is very much the fool 
that Shakspeare occasionally embodies ; and even in 
the present day, many a witticism and sarcasm, given 
birth to by these mendicant Touchstones, would be 
treasured in the memory of our beau monde, under the 
different heads of brilliant or biting, had they been 
uttered by a Bushe or a Plunket. I recollect a 
striking piece of imagery employed by one of the 
tribe, on his perceiving the approach of a certain 
steward, who, as a severe task-master, had made 



AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 93 

himself disliked amongst the peasantry employed ou 
his master's estate. This man had acquired a nick- 
name, (Irishmen, by the way, are celebrated for the 
application of sobriquets,) which nick-name was 
" Danger ;" and the fool, standing, one day, amidst 
a parcel of workmen, who were cutting turf, per- 
ceived this same steward crossing the bog towards 
them : ''Ah, ha ! by dad, you must work now, boys," 
said he, '' here comes Danger. Bad luck to you. 
Daddy Danger, you dirty blood-sucker, sure the 
earth's heavy with you." But suddenly stopping in 
his career of common-place abuse, he looked, with an 
air of contemplative dislike towards the man, and de- 
liberately said, " There you are. Danger ! and may 1 
never brake bread, if all the turf in the hog 'id warm 
me to you." 

Such are the occasional bursts of figurative lan- 
guage uttered by our fools, who are generally mendi- 
cants ; or perhaps it would be fitter to call them de- 
pendants, either on some particular family, or on the 
wealthy farmers of the district. But they have a 
great objection that such should be supposed to be 
the case, and are particularly jealous of their inde- 
pendence. An example of this was given me by a 
friend, who patronised one, that was rather a favo- 
rite of the gentlemen in the neighbourhood, and a 
constant attendant at every fair within ten or fifteen 
miles, where he was sure to pick up a good deal of 
money from his gentlemen friends. Aware of this 
fact, Mr. meeting Jimmy* one morning on the 

• This is the name almost universally applied here to fooJs, Tom 
seems to be the one in use in England, even as far back as Sbak- 
speare's time ; but Jimmy is the established name in Ireland. 



94 AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 

road, and knowing what errand he was bound on, 
asked him where he was going? 

" I'm goin' to the fair, your honor." 

" Why, what can bring you there ?" 

" Oh, I've business there. 

'' What business .''" 

" I'll tell you to-morrow." 

"Ah! Jimmy," said the gentleman, "I see how it 
is — you're going to the fair to ask all the gentlemen 
for money." 

" Indeed I'm not : I'm no beggar — Jimmy wouldn't 
be a beggar. Do you think I've nothin' else to do 
but beg ?" 

" Well, what else brings you to the fair }" 

" Sure I'm goin' to sell a cow there," said Jimmy, 
quite delighted at fancying he had successfully baffled 
the troublesome inquiries of the Squire; and, not 
willing to risk another question or answer, he uttered 
his deafening laugh, and pursued his road to the fair. 

From the same source I heard that they are ad- 
mirable couriers, which my friend very fairly ac- 
counted for, by attributing it to the small capability 
of comprehension in the constitution of their minds, 
which, rendering them unable to embrace more than 
one idea at a time, produces a singleness of purpose, 
that renders them valuable messengers. As an in- 
stance of this, he told me that a gentleman in his 
neighbourhood once sent a certain fool to the town 

of , with a packet of great consequence and 

value, to his banker, with a direction to the bearer 
not to hand it to any person but Mr. — - himself, 
and not to return without seeing him. 



AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 95 

It SO happened Mr. had gone to Dublin that 

morning ; and no assurances nor persuasion, on the 
part of that gentleman's confidential clerk, could in- 
duce the fool to hand him the parcel — thus observing 
strict obedience to the commands of his master. But 
he adhered still more literally to his commission ; for 

when he was told Mr. had gone to Dublin, and 

that, therefore, he could not give him the packet, he 
said, " Oh, very well, Jimmy 'ill go back agin ;" 
but when he left the office, he took the road to Dublin, 
instead of homewards, having been bidden not to re- 
turn without delivering it, and ran the distance to the 
capital, (about one hundred and forty miles,) in so 
short a time, that he arrived there but a few hours 
after the gentleman he followed, and never rested 
until he discovered where he was lodged, and deliver- 
ed to him the parcel, in strict accordance with his in- 
structions. 

They are affectionate also. I have heard of a fool, 
who, when some favourite member of a family he 
was attached to died, went to the church-yard, and 
sat on the grave, and there, wept bitterly, and watched 
night and day ; nor could he be forced from the place, 
nor could the calls of hunger and thirst induce him to 
quit the spot for many days ; and such was the in- 
tensity of grief on the part of the affectionate crea- 
ture, that he died in three months afterwards. 

But they can be revengeful too, and entertain a 
grudge with great tenacity. The following is a ridi- 
culous instance of this : — A fool, who had been se- 
verely bitten by a gander, that was unusually courage- 



96 AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 

ous, watched an opportunity, when his enemy was 
absent, and getting amongst the rising family of the 
gander, he began to trample upon the goslings, and 
was caught in the fact of murdering them, wholesale, 
by the enraged woman who had reared them. 

" Ha ! Jimmy, you villian, is it murtherin' my 
lovely goslins you are, you thief o' the world ? Bad 
scram to you, you thick-headed vagabone." 

'' Divil mend them, granny," shouted Jimmy, with 
a laugh of idiotic delight, as he leaped over a ditch, 
out of the reach of the hen-wife, who rushed upon 
him with a broom-stick, full of dire intent upon 
Jimmy's skull. 

"Oh, you moroadin' thief!" cried the exasperated 
woman, shaking her uplifted broom-stick at Jimmy 
in impotent rage ; " wait till Maurice ketches you — 
that's all." 

"Divil mend them, granny," shouted Jimmy — 
ha ! ha ! — why did their daddy bite me ?" 

The peasantry believe a fool to be insensible to 
fear, from any ghostly visitation ; and I heard of an 
instance where the experiment was made on one of 
these unhappy creatures, by dresssing a strapping 
fellow in a sheet, and placing him in a situation to 
intercept "poor Jimmy" on his midnight path, and 
try the truth of this generally-received opinion, by 
endeavouring to intimidate him. When he had reach- 
ed the appointed spot, a particularly lonely and narrow 
path, and so hemmed in by high banks on each side, 
as to render escape difficult, Mr. Ghost suddenly 
reared his sheeted person, as Jimmy had half ascend- 
ed a broken stile, and with all the usual terrific for- 



AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 97 

mula of " Boo," " Fee-faw-fum/' &c. &c. demanded 
who dared to cross that path? The answer, "I'm 
poor Jimmy/' was given in his usual tone. "I'm Raw- 
head and Bloody-bones/' roared the ghost. " Ho ! 
ho ! I often heerd o' you/' said Jimmy. " Baw," 
cried the ghost, advancing. " I'll kill you — I'll kill 
you — I'll kill you." " The divil a betther opinion I 
had iv you/' said Jimmy. " Boo !" says Raw-head. 
"I'll eat you — I'll eat you." " The divil do you good 
with me/' says Jimmy. And so the ghost was at a 
nonplus, and Jimmy won the field. 

I once heard of a joint-stock company having 
been established between a fool and a blind beg- 
gar-man, and for whom the fool acted in the ca- 
pacity of guide. They had share and share alike 
in the begging concern, and got on tolerably well 
together, until one day the blind man had cause 
to suspect Jimmy's honour. It happened that a 
mail-coach passing by, the blind man put forth all 
his begging graces to induce the " quality " to 
'* extind their charity," and succeeded so well, 
that not only some copper, but a piece of silver 
was thrown by the way-side. Jimmy, I'm sorry to 
say, allowed " the filthy lucre of gain" so far to pre- 
dominate, that in picking up these gratuities, he ap- 
propriated the silver coin to his own particular pouch, 
and brought the halfpence only for division to his 
blind friend ; but the sense of hearing was so nice in 
the latter, that he detected the sound of the falling 
silver, and asked Jimmy to produce it. Jimmy de- 
nied the fact stoutly. " Oh, I heerd it fall," said the 



98 AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 

blind man. " Then you were betther off than poor 
Jimmy/' said our hero ; " for you heerd it, but poor 
Jimmy didn't see it." " Well, look for it/' says the 
blind man. "Well, well, but you're cute, daddy," 
cried Jimmy ; '' you're right enough, I see it now /' 
and Jimmy affected to pick up the sixpence, and 
handed it to his companion. 

" Now we'll go an to the Squire's," said the blind 
man, " and they'll give us somethin' to eat /' and 
he and his idiot companion were soon seated out- 
side the kitchen-door of the Squire's house, waiting 
for their expected dish of broken meat and pota- 
toes. 

Presently Jimmy was summoned, and he stepped 
forward to receive the plate that was handed him ; 
but, in its transit from the kitchen-door to the spot 
where the blind man was seated, Jimmy played 
foul again, by laying violent hands on the meat, and 
leaving potatoes only on the dish. Again the acute 
sense of the blind man detected the fraud : he sniffed 
the scent of the purloined provision ; and, after pok- 
ing with hurried fingers amongst the potatoes, he 
exclaimed, " Ha ! Jimmy, Jimmy, I smelt meat." 
" Deed and deed, no," said Jimmy, who had, in the 
mean time, with the voracity of brutal hunger, de- 
voured his stolen prey. '' That's a lie, Jimmy," said 
the blind man — " that's like the sixpence. Ha ! you 
thievin' rogue, to cheat a poor blind man. you vil- 
lian /' and forthwith he aimed a blow of his stick at 
Jimmy with such good success, as to make the fool 
bellow lustily. Matters, however, -were accommo- 



AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 99 

dated ; and both parties considered that the beef and 
the blow pretty well balanced one another, and so 
accounts were squared. 

After their meal at the Squire's, they proceeded to 
an adjoming village ; but in the course of their w^ay 
thither, it was necessary to pass a rapid, and some- 
times swollen mountain-stream, and the only means 
of transit was by large blocks of granite placed 
at such intervals in the stream, as to enable a pas- 
senger to step from one to the other, and hence 
called " stepping-stones." Here, then, it was neces- 
sary, on the blind man's part, to employ great cau- 
tion, and he gave himself up to the guidance of Jimmy, 
to effect his purpose. " You'll tell me where I'm to 
step," said he, as he cautiously approached the brink. 
''^ Oh, I will, daddy," said Jimmy; "give me your 
hand." 

But Jimmy thought a good opportunity had arriv- 
ed, for disposing of one whom he found to be an over- 
intelligent companion, and leading him to a part of 
the bank where no friendly stepping stone was plac- 
ed, he cried, '^'^step out now daddy." The poor 
blind man obeyed the command, and tumbled plump 
into the water. The fool screamed with delight, and 
clapped his hands. The poor deluded blind man 
floundered for some time in the stream, which, for- 
tunately, w^as not sufficiently deep to be dangerous ; 
and when he scrambled to the shore, he laid about 
him with his stick and tongue, in dealing blows and 
anathemas, all intended for Jimmy. The former 
Jimmy carefully avoided, by running out of the en- 
raged blind man's reach. " Oh, my curse light an 

f2 



100 AN ESSAY ON FOOLS. 

you, you black-hearted thraitor/' said the dripping- 
old beggar;, " that has just wit enough to be wicked, 
and to play such a hard-hearted turn to a poor blind 
man." " Ha ! ha ! daddy/' cried Jimmy, " you could 
smell the mate — why didn't you smell the wather ?" 



THE CATASTROPHE. 



" I was by at the opening of the fardel." 

" Methougbt I heard the bhepherd say he found a child." 

John Daw, of the County , Gent, who, from 

his propensity to look down his neighbours' chimneys, 
was familiarly called Mr. Jackdaw, was a man, who, 
(to adopt a figure of speech which he often used him- 
self,) could see as far into a millstone as most people. 
He could play at politics, as boys play at marbles — 
and Mr. Daw could be down upon any king's taw, 
as best suited his pleasure, and prove he was quite 
right, to boot, provided you would only listen to his 
arguments, and not answer them. Though to say the 
truth, Mr. Daw seldom meddled with so august a 
personage as a khig — he was rather of Shakspeare's 
opinion, that 

" There's a divinity doth hedge a king." 

And after the fall of Napoleon, whom he could abvise 
to his heart's content, with all the hackneyed epithets 
of tyrant, monster, &c. without any offence to legiti- 
macy, his rage against royalty was somewhat cur- 
tailed of its " fair proportions." But still, politics al- 
ways afforded him a very pretty allowance of hot 
water to dabble in. Of course, he who coidd settle 



102 THE CATASTROPHE. 

the affairs of nations with so much satisfaction to 
himself, could also superintend those of his neigh- 
bours ; and the whole county, if it knew but all_, had 
weighty obligations to Mr. Daw^ for the considera- 
tion he bestowed on the concerns of every man in it, 
rather than his own. But the world is very ill-natur- 
ed, and the county in particular ; for while Mr. 

Daw, thus, exhibited so much interest in the affairs of 
his acquaintances, they only called him " bore — busy 
body — meddler," and other such like amiable appel- 
lations. 

No stolen ^^ march of intellect," had ever been 
allowed to surprise the orthodox outposts of Mr. 
Daw's understanding. He was for the good old 
times — none of your heathenish innovations for him ! 
The word, liberality, was an abomination in his ears, 
and strongly reminded him of ^' Popery, slavery, ar- 
bitrary power, brass money^ and wooden shoes." 

Two things he hated in particular — cold water and 
papists — he thought them both bad for " the consti- 
tution." Now, the former of the aforesaid, Mr. Daw 
took special good care should never make any inno- 
vation on his — ^and the bitterest regret of his life, was, 
that he had it not equally in his power, to prevent the 
latter from making inroads upon that of the nation. 

A severe trial of Mr. Daw's temper existed, in the 
situation, which a certain Roman Catholic chapel 
held, on the road which led from his house to 
the parochial Protestant church. This chapel was 
a singularly humble little building, Mhose decayed 
roof of straw gave evidence of the poverty and 
inability of the flock who crowded within it every 



THE CATASTROPHE. 103 

Sunday, to maintain a more seemly edifice for the 
worship of God. It was situated immediately on the 
road side, and so inadequate was it in size, to con- 
tain the congregation which flocked to it for admit- 
tance, that hundreds of poor people might be seen 
every Sabbath, kneeling outside the door, and stretch- 
ing in a crowd so dense across the road, as to occa- 
sion considerable obstruction to a passenger thereon. 
This was always a source of serious annoyance to the 
worthy Mr. Daw ; and one Sunday in particular, so 
great was the concourse of people, that he was ab- 
solutely obliged to stop his jaunting car, and was 
delayed the enormous space of a full minute and a 
half, before the offending worshippers could get out 
of the way. This was the climax of annoyance — it 
was insufferable. That he should have, every Sun- 
day as he went to church, his Christian serenity dis- 
turbed by passing so heathenish a temple as a mass- 
house, and witness the adoration of " damnable ido- 
laters," was bad enough, but that he, one of the 
staunchest Protestants in the county, one of the most 
untlinching of the sons of ascendancy, should be 
delayed upon his way to church, by a pack of " ras- 
cally rebelly papists," as he charitably called them, 
was beyond endurance, and he deeply swore he would 
never go to church by that road again, to be obnox- 
ious to so great an indignity. And he kept his word. 
He preferred going a round of five miles to the ample 

and empty church of , than again pass the 

confined and crowded little chapel. 

This was rather inconvenient sometimes, to be sure, 
when autumn rains and winter snows were falling — 



104 THE CATASTROPHE. 

but no matter. The scene of his degradation was 
not to be passed for any consideration, and many a 
thorough drenching and frost-bitten penalty were en- 
dured in the cause of ascendancy — but what then ? — 
he had the reward in his own breast, and he bore all 
with the fortitude of a martyr, consoling himself in 
the notion of his being ''a suffering loyalist." 

If he went out of his way to avoid one popish 
nuisance, he was "put out of his way" by another — 
namely, by having his residence in the vicinity of a 
convent. Yea, within ear-shot of their vesper music 
lay his pleasure ground ; and a stone wall (a very 
strong and high one to be sure,) was all that inter- 
posed itself, between his Protestant park and the con- 
vent garden. 

Both of these lay upon the shore of the expansive 
Shannon; and ^^many a time and oft," when our 
hero was indulging in an evening stroll on the bank 
of the river, did be wish the poor nuns fairly at the 
bottom of it, as their neighbouring voices, raised 
perchance in some hymn to the Virgin, smote the tym- 
panum of his offended ear. 

He considered, at length, that this proximity to a 
convent, which at first he deemed such a hardship, 
might be turned to account, in a way, of all others, 
congenial to his disposition, by affording him an op- 
portunity of watching the movements of its inmates. 
Of the nefarious proceedings of such a body — of their 
numberless intrigues, &c. &c. he himself had no 
doubt, and he forthwith commenced a system of espi- 
onnage, that he might be enabled to produce proof for 
the conviction of others. During the day, there was 



THE CATASTROPHE, 107 

a provoking propriety preserved about the place, that 
excited Mr. Daw's wrath — " aye, aye/' would he 
mutter to himself, '^they were always deep as well 
as dangerous — they're too cunning to commit them- 
selves by any thing that might be easily discovered ; 
but wait — wait until the moonlight nights are past, 
and I'll warrant my watching shan't go for no- 
thing." 

Under the dewy damps of night, many an hour 
did Mr. Daw hold his surveillance around the convent 
bounds ; but still fortune favoured him not in his 
enterprise ; and not one of the delinquencies, which 
he had no doubt were going forward, had he the good 
fortune to discover. No scarf was waved from the 
proscribed casements — no ladder of ropes was to be 
found attached to the forbidden wall — no boat, with 
muffled oar, stealthily skimming along the waters, 
could be detected in the act of depositing " a gallant 
gay Lothario" in this Hesperian garden, where, he 
doubted not, many an adventurous Jason plucked for- 
bidden fruit. 

Chance, however, threw in his way a discovery, 
which all his premeditated endeavours had formerly 
failed to accomplish ; for one evening, just as the 
last glimmer of departing day was streaking the 
west, Mr. Daw, in company with a friend, (a conge- 
nial soul,) when returning, after a long day's shoot- 
ing, in gleeful anticipation of a good dinner, heard 
a sudden splash in the water, apparently proceeding 
from the extremity of the convent-wall, to which 
point they both directly hurried. What the noise 
originated in, we shall soon see; but a moment's 

F 3 



106 THE CATASTROPHE. 

pause must be first given^ to say a word or two of 
Mr. Daw's friend. 

He was a little bustling man, always fussing about 
something or other — eternally making frivolous ex- 
cuses for paying visits at unseasonable hours, for the 
purpose of taking people by surprise, and seeing 
what they were about, and everlastingly giving peo- 
ple advice ; and after any unpleasant accident, loss 
of property, or other casualty, he was always ready 
with an assurance, that " if that had been his case, 
he would have done so and so ;" and gave ample 
grounds for you to understand that you were very 
little more nor less than a fool, and he, the wisest of 
men since the days of Solomon. 

But curiosity was his prevailing foible. When he 
entered a room, his little twinkling eyes went peering 
round the chamber, to ascertain if any thing worth 
notice was within eye-shot ; and when failure ensued, 
in that case, he himself went on a voyage of discovery 
into every corner, and with excuses so plausible, that 
he flattered himself nobody saw what he did. For 
example, he might commence thus — ^' Ha ! Miss 
Emily, you've got a string broken in your harp, 
I see," and, forthwith, he posted over to the instru- 
ment ; and while he was clawing the strings, and 
declaring it was " a monstrous sweet harp," he 
was reconnoitring the quarter where it stood, with 
the eye of a lynx. Unsuccessful there, he would pro- 
ceed, mayhap, to the table, where some recently re- 
ceived letters were lying, and stooping down over 
one with its seal upwards, exclaim, " Dear me ! what 
a charming device ! Let me see — what is it ? — a pad- 



THE CATASTROPHE. 107 

lock, and the motto ' honour keeps the key.' Ah ! very 
pretty mdeed — excellent I" And then he would care- 
lessly turn over the letter, to see the post-mark and 
superscription, to try if he could glean any little hint 
from them — " So ! so ! a foreign post-mark, I see — 
ha ! I daresay, now, this is from your cousin — his 
regiment's abroad, I believe? Eh! Miss Emily ?'' 
(rather knowingly). Miss Emily might reply, slily, 
"I thought you admired the motto on the seal?" 
" Oh yes — a — very true, indeed — a very pretty mot- 
to ;" — and so on. 

This little gentleman was, moreover, very particu- 
lar in his dress ; the newest fashions were sure to be 
exhibited on his diminutive person ; and from the 
combined quality of petit maitre and evesdropper, he 
enjoyed a sobriquet as honourable as Mr. Daw, and 
was called Little Beau Peep. 

Upon one occasion, however, while minding his 
neighbour's affairs with an exemplary vigilance, some 
sheep stealers made free with a few of his flock, and 
though so pre-eminently prompt, in the suggestion of 
preventions, or remedies, in similar cases, when his 
friends were in trouble, he could not make the slight- 
est successful movement towards the recovery of his 
own property. All his dear friends were, of course, 
delighted ; and so far did they carry their exultation 
in his mishap, that some one, a night or two after his 
disaster, pasted on his hall door the following quota- 
tion from a celebrated nursery ballad : — 

" Little Beau Peep 
Has lost his sheep, 
And does not know where to findahem." 

He had a little dog, too, that was as great a 



108 THE CATASTROPHE. 

nuisance as himself, and emulated his master in his 
prying propensities ; he was very significantly called 
" Ferret/' and not unfrequently had he been instru- 
mental in making mischievious discoveries. One in 
particular I cannot resist noticing : — 

Mrs. Fitz-Altamont was a lady of high descent — ^iu 
short, the descent had been such a long one, that the 
noble family of Fitz-Altamont had descended very low 
indeed — but Mrs. Fitz-Altamont would never let ''^the 
aspiring blood of Lancaster sink in the ground " and, 
accordingly, was always reminding her acquaintance, 
how very noble a stock she came from, at the very 
moment perhaps she was making some miserable 
show of gentility. In fact, Mrs. Fitz-Altamont's mode 
of living, reminded one very much of worn out plated 
ware, in which the copper makes a very considerable 
appearance; or, as Goldsmith says of the French, 
she 

" TriiTiM her robe of frieze with copper taoe." 

Her children had been reared from their earliest in- 
fancy with lofty notions ; they started, even from the 
baptismal font, under the shadow of high sounding 
names; there were Alfred, Adolphus, and Harold, 
her magnanimous boys, and Angelina and Iphigenia 
her romantic girls. 

Judge then of the mortification of Mrs. Fitz-Alta- 
mont, when one day seated at a rather homely early 
dinner. Little Beau Peep popped in upon them. 
How he contrived such a surprise is not stated ; 
whether by a surreptitious entry through a back 
whidow, or, fairy-like, through a key bole, has never 
been clearly ascertained, but certain it is, he detected 



THE CATASTROPHE. 109 

the noble family of Fitz-Altamont in the fact of hav- 
ing- been dining upon — eggs !— yes, sympathetic reader 
— EGGS. The denouement took place thus : — Seated 
before this unseemly fare, the voice of Beau Peep 
was heard in the hall by the affrighted Fitz-Alta- 
monts. No herd of startled deer was ever half so 
terrified by the deep bay of the ferocious stag-hound, 
as " the present company" at the shrill pipe of the 
cur. Beau Peep ; and by a simultaneous movement 
of thought and action, they at once huddled every thing 
upon the table, topsy turvy, into the table cloth, and 
crammed it with precipitous speed under the sofa; 
and scattering the chairs from their formal and mdi- 
cative position round the table, they met their '^ dear 
friend" Beau Peep with smiles, as he gently opened 
the door in his own insinuating manner, to say, that, 
"just as he was in the neighbourhood, he would not 
pass by his esteemed friend Mrs. Fitz-Altamont, 
without calling to pay his respects." Both parties 
were "delighted" to see each other, and Mr. Beau 
Peep seated himself on the sofa, and his little dog 
" Ferret," lay down between his feet ; and whether 
it was from a spice of his master's talent for dis- 
covery, or a keen nose that nature gave him, we 
know not, but after sniffing once or twice, he made 
a sudden dart beneath the sofa, and in an instant 
emerged from under its deep and dirty flounce, 
dragging after him the table cloth, which, unfolding 
in its course along the well-darned carpet, disclosed 
" a beggarly account of empty" eg^ shells. 

We shall not attempt to describe the finale of such 
a scene ; but Mrs. Fitz-Altamont, in speaking to a 



no THE CATASTROPHE. 

friend on the subject, when the affair had "got wind," 
and demanded an explanation, declared she never 
was so "horrified" in her life. It was just owing 
to her own foolish good nature : she had allowed all 
her servants (she had one) to go to the fair in the 
neighbourhood, and had ordered John to be home at 
a certain hour from the town with marketting. But 
John did not return ; and it happened so unfortu- 
nately-— such a thing never happened before in her 
house : there was not an atom in the larder but eggs ; 
and they just were making a little lunch, when that 
provoking creature, Mr. Terrier, broke in on them. 

" My dear Madam, if you had only seen it : Alfred 
had eaten his e^g — Adolphus was eating his egg — 
Harold was in the act of cracking his eg^, and I wais 
just putting some salt in my egg, (indeed I spilt the 
salt a moment before, and was certain something un- 
lucky was going to happen) ; and the dear romantic 
girls, Angelina and Iphigenia, were at the moment 
boiling their eggs, when that dreadful little man got 
into the house. It's very laughable, to be sure — he ! 
he ! he ! when one knows all about it ; but really I 
never was so provoked in my life." 

We ask pardon for so long a digression, but an 
anxiety to shew what sort of person Little Beau Peep 
was, has betrayed us into it ; and we shall now hurry 
to the development of our story. 

We left Beau Peep and Jack Daw, hurrying to- 
wards the convent-wall where it was washed by the 
river, to ascertain what caused the loud splash in the 
water, which they heard, and has already been no- 
ticed. On arriving at the extremity of Mr. Daw's 



THE CATASTROPHE. Ill 

grounds, they perceived the stream yet agitated, ap- 
parently from the sudden immersion of somethmg- 
into it ; and, on looking more sharply through the 
dusk, they saw, floating rapidly down the current, a 
basket, at some distance, but not so far away as to 
prevent' their hearing a faint cry, evidently proceed- 
ing from it; and the next moment they heard a 
female voice say, in the adjoining garden of the con- 
vent, '^ There, let it go ; the nasty creature, to do 
such a horrid thing " 

*' Did you hear that ?" said Mr. Daw. 

" I did," said Beau Peep. 

" There's proof positive," said Daw. ^^ The villain- 
ous Papist jades, one of them has had a child, and 
some of her dear sisters are drowning it for her, to 
conceal her infamy." 

'' No doubt of it," said Beau Peep. 

" I knew it all along," said Jack Daw. " Come, 
my dear friend," added he, " let us hasten back to 
O'Brien's cottage, and he'll row us down the river in 
his boat, and we may yet be enabled to reach the 
basket in time to possess ourselves of the proof of all 
this popish profligacy." 

And off they ran to O'Brien's cottage ; and hurry- 
ing O'Brien and his son to unmoor their boat, in 
which the gentlemen had passed a considerable part 
of the day in sporting, they jumped into the skiff, 
and urged the two men to pull away as fast as they 
could, after the prize they hoped to obtain. Thus, 
though excessively hungry, and anxious for the din- 
ner that was awaiting them all the time, their appe- 



112 THE CATASTROPHE. 

tite for scandal was so much more intense, that they 
relmquished the former in pursuit of the latter. 

"^An' where is it your honor's goin'/' demanded 
O'Brien. 

*^Oh_, a little bit down the river here/' answered 
Mr. Daw ; for he did not wish to let it be known 
what he was in quest of, or his suspicions touching- 
it, lest the peasants might baffle his endeavours at 
discovery, as he was sure they would strive to do in 
such a case, for the honour of the creed to which 
they belonged. 

^'Throth then, it's late your honor's goin' an the 
wather this time o' day, and the night comin' an." 

^' Well never mind that, you, but pidl away." 

'' By my sowl, I'll pull like a young cowlt, if that be 
all, and Jim too. Sir, (that's your sort, Jimmy ;) but 
at this gate o' goin' the sorra far off the rapids will 
be, long, and sure if we go down them now, the 
dickens a back we'll get to-night." 

'^Oh, never mind that," said Daw, "we can return 
by the fields." 

As O'Brien calculated, they soon reached the ra- 
pids, and he called out to Jim to " studdy the boat 
there;" and with skilful management the turbulent 
descent was passed in safety, and they glided on- 
wards again, under the influence of their oars, over the 
level waters. 

" Do you see it yet ?" asked one of the friends to 
the other, who replied in the negative. 

" Maybe its the deep hole your honour id be look- 
in' for ?" queried O'Brien, in that peculiar vein of 



THE CATASTROPHE. 113 

inquisitiveness which the Irish peasant indulges in, 
and through which he hopes, by pre-supposing a 
motive of action, to discover in reality the object 
aimed at. 

" No/' answered Daw, rather abruptly. 

" Oh, it's only bekase it's a choice place for settin' 
night-lines," said O'Brien ; " and I was thinkin' 
maybe it's for that your honor id be." 

"Oh!" said Beau Peep, "'tis something more 
than is caught by night-lines we're seeking — eh 
Daw.?" 

"^ Aye, aye," and, by Jove, I think I see it a little 
way before us — pull, O'Brien, pull !" and the boat 
trembled under the vigorous strokes of O'Brien and 
his son, and in a few minutes they were within an 
oar's length of the basket, which, by this time, was 
nearly sinking, and a moment or two later, had de- 
prived Jack Daw and Beau Peep of the honour of the 
discovery, which they now were on the eve of com- 
pleting. 

" Lay hold of it," said Mr. Daw ; and Beau Peep, 
in ' making a long arm,' to secure the prize, so far 
overbalanced himself, that he went plump, head fore- 
most, into the river; and had it not been for the 
activity and strength of the elder O'Brien, this our 
pleasant history must have turned out a tragedy of 
the darkest dye, and many a subsequent discovery of 
the indefatigable Beau Peep, have remained in the 
unexplored depths of uncertainty. But, fortunately 
for the lovers of family secrets, the inestimable Beau 
Peep was drawn, dripping, from the river, by O'Brien, 



114 



THE CATASTROPHE. 



at the same moment that Jack Daw, with the boat- 
hook, secured the basket. 

" I've got it \" exclaimed Daw, in triumph. 

" Ay, and I've got it too," chattered forth poor Beau 
Peep. 

"What's the matter with you, my dear friend.''" 
said Daw, who, in his anxiety to obtain the basket, 
never perceived the fatality that had befallen his 
friend. 

"I've been nearly drowned, that's all," whined 
forth the unhappy little animal, as he was shaking 
the water out of his ears. 

" Troth it was looky I had my hand so ready," 
said O'Brien, " or faith, maybe it's more nor a basket 
we'd have to be lookin' for." 

" My dear fellow," said Daw, " let us get ashore 
immediately, and, by the exercise of walkmg, you 
may counteract the bad effects that this accident might 
otherwise produce. Get the boat ashore, O'Brien, as 
fast as possible. But we have got the basket, how- 
ever, and that's some consolation for you." 

'' Yes," said the shivering little scandal-hunter, " I 
don't mind the drenching, since we have secured 
that." 

" Why thin," as he pulled towards the shore," may 
I make so bowld as to ax your honor, what curosity 
there is in an owld basket, to make viz take so much 
throuble, and nigh hand drowndin' yourselves afore 
you cotch it ?" 

" Oh, never you mind," said Mr. Daw ; " you shall 
soon know all about it. By the bye, my dear friend," 



THE CATASTROPHE. 115 

turning to Terrier, " I think we had better proceed, 
as soon as we get ashore, to our neighbour Sturdy's — ■ 
his is the nearest house I know of; there you may be 
enabled to change your wet clothes, and he, being a 
magistrate, we can swear our informations against 
the delinquents in this case." 

" Very true," said the unfortunate Beau Peep, as 
he stepped ashore, assisted by O'Brien, who, when 
the gentlemen proceeded some paces in advance, said 
to his son, who bore the dearly- won basket, that ^"^the 
poor little whelp (meaning Beau Peep) looked, for 
all the world, like a dog in a Avet sack." 

On they pushed, at a smart pace, until the twink- 
ling of lights through some neighbouring trees an- 
nounced to them the vicinity of Squire Sturdy's 
mansion. The worthy squire had just taken his first 
glass of wine after the cloth had been drawn, when 
the servant announced the arrival of Mr. Daw, and 
his half-drowned friend, who were at once ushered 
into the dining-room. 

''Good heaven!" exclaimed the excellent lady of 
the mansion, (for the ladies had not yet withdrawn,) 
on perceiving the miserable plight of Beau Peep, 
^' what has happened ?" 

*' Indeed madam," answered ou*" little hero, '' an 
unfortunate accident on the water " 

'' Oh, ho !" said the squire ; '' I should think that 
quite in your line — just exploring the secrets of the 
river ? Why, my good Sir, if you go on at this rate, 
making discoveries by water, as well as by land, 
you'll rival Columbus himself before long." And 
Miss Emily, of whom we have already spoken, whis- 



116 THE CATASTROPHE. 

pered her mamma, that she had often heard of a 
diving-bell (helle), but never before of a diving- 
Sea w. 

" Had you not better change your clothes ?" said 
Mrs. Sturdy, to the shivering Terrier. 

" Thank you, madam,'' said he, somewhat loftily, 
being piqued at the manner of his reception by the 
squire, " I shall wait until an hivestigation has taken 
place in my presence, of a circumstance which I have 
contributed to bring to light ; and my discoveries by 
water may be found to be not undeserving of no- 
tice." 

" I assure you, Mr. Sturdy," added Mr. Daw, in his 
most impressive manner, " we have an information 
to swear to, before you, of the most vital importance, 
and betraying the profligacy of certain people in so 
flagrant a degree, that I hope it may, at length, open 
the eyes of those that are wilfully blind to the in- 
terests of their king and their country." 

This fine speech was meant as a hit at Squire 
Sturdy, who was a blunt, honest man — who acted in 
most cases to the best of his ability, on the admirable 
Christian maxim of loving his neighbour as himself. 

" Well, Mr. Daw," said the squire, " I am all at- 
tention to hear your information " 

" May I trouble you," said Daw, " to retire to your 
study, as the matter is of rather an indelicate nature, 
and not fit for ladies' ears ?" 

" No, no. We'll stay here, and Mrs. S. and my 
daughters will retire to the drawing-room. Go, girls, 
and get the tea ready;" and the room was soon 
cleared of the ladies, and the two O'Briens were 



THE CATASTROPHE. 117 

summoned to wait upon the squire in the dining- 
room, with the important basket. 

When they entered, Mr. Daw, with a face of addi- 
tional length and solemnity, unfolded to Squire Sturdy, 
how the attention of his friend and himself had been 
attracted, by a basket flung from the convent garden — 
how they ran to the spot — how they heard a faint 
cry ; " and then, Sir," said he, ^' we were at once 
awake to the revolting certainty, that the nuns had 
thus intended secretly to destroy one of their own 
illegitimate offspring." 

'^ Cross o' Christ about us !" involuntarily mut- 
tered forth the two O'Briens, making the sign of the 
cross at the same time on their foreheads. 

^^ But have you any proof of this ?" asked the ma- 
gistrate. 

" Yes, Sir," said Beau Peep triumphantly, " we 
have proof — proof positive ! Bring forward that bas- 
ket," said he to the boatman. " There, Sir, is the 
very basket containing the evidence of their double 
guilt — first, the guilt of unchastity, and next, the 
guilt of infanticide ; and it was in laying hold of that 
basket, Mr. Sturdy, that I met the accident, Mr. 
Sturdy, that has occasioned you so much mirth. 
However, I believe you will acknowledge now, Mr. 
Sturdy, that my discoveries by water have been ra- 
ther important ?" 

Here Mr. Daw broke in, by saying, that the two boat- 
men were witnesses to the fact of finding the basket. 

" Oh ! by this and that," roared out O'Brien, '' the 
divil receave the bit of a child I seen, I'll be upon 
my' oath ! and I wouldn't say that in a lie " 



]18 THE CATASTROPHE. 

"Be silent, O'Brien/' said the magistrate. '' An- 
swer me, Mr. Daw, if you please, one or two ques- 
tions : — • 

" Did one or both of you see the basket thrown 
from the convent garden ?" 

" Both of us." 

'^ And you heard a faint cry from it?" 

" Yes — we heard the cry of an infant/' 

" Yqu then rowed after the basket, in O'Brien's 
boat }" 

'^Yes." 

" Is this the basket you saw the gentlemen pick 
up, O'Brien ?" 

'^ By my sowl, I can't exactly say, your honor, for 
I was picking up Mr. Tarrier." 

" It was you, then, that saved Mr. Terrier from 
drowning .''" 

" Yes, Sir, undher God ." 

" Fortunate that O'Brien was so active, Mr. Ter- 
rier. Well, O'Brien, but that is the same basket you 
have carried here from the river ?" 

" Troth I don't know where I could change it an 
the road. Sir ." 

"Well, let us open the basket, and see what it 
contains ;" and O'Brien commenced unlacing the 
cords that bound up the wicker tomb of the murdered 
child ; but so anxious was Mr. Daw for prompt pro- 
duction of his evidence, that he took out his penknife, 
and cut the fastenings. 

" Now take it out," said Mr. Daw ; and every eye 
was rivetted on the basket, as O'Brien, lifting the 
cover, and putting in his hand, said, " Oh then, but 



THE CATASTROPHE. 119 

it's a beautiful babby !" and he turned up a look of 
the tenderest pity at the three gentlemen. 

" Pull it out here !" said Mr. Daw, imperatively ; 
and O'Brien, with the utmost gentleness, lifting the 
lifeless body from the basket, produced — a drowned 

CAT ! 

" Oh then, isn't it a darlint !" said O'Brien, with 
the most provoking affectation of pathos in his voice, 
while sarcasm was playing on his lip, and humour 
gleaming from his eye, as he witnessed with enjoy- 
ment the vacant stare of the discomfited Daw and 
Beau Peep, and exchanged looks with the worthy 
Squire, who had set up a horse-laugh the instant that 
poor pussy had made her appearance ; and the mo- 
ment he could recover his breath, exclaimed, " Why, 

by the L d, it's a dead cat I" and hereupon the 

sound of smothered laughter reached them from out- 
side the half-closed door, where the ladies, dear crea- 
tures, had stolen to listen, havhig been told that 
something not proper to hear was going forward. 

The two grand inquisitors were so utterly con- 
founded, that neither had a word to say ; and as soon 
as the Squire had recovered from his immoderate fit 
of laughing, he said — " Well, gentlemen, this is a 
most important discovery you have achieved. I think 
I must despatch an express to government, on the 
strength of it." 

" Oh, wait a bit, your honor," said O'Brien, ^^ there's 
more o' them yit;" and he took from out of the basket 
a handful of dead kittens. 

Now, it happened that a cat had kittened in the 
convent that day, and, as it not unfrequently happens. 



120 THE CATASTROPHE. 

the ferocious animal had destroyed some of her oiF- 
spring, which so disgusted the nuns^ that they bundled 
cat and kittens into an old basket,, and threw them 
all into the river ; and thus the " faint cry/' and the 
words of the sisters, " the nasty creature, to do such 
a horrid thing," are at once explained. 

" Why, this is worse than you anticipated, gentle- 
men," said the Squire, laughing — " for here, not only 
one, but several lives have been sacrificed." 

" Mr. Sturdy," said Mr. Daw, very solemnly, " let 
me tell you, that if " 

" Tut ! tut ! my dear Sir,*' said the good humoured 
Squire, interrupting him, ' the wisest in the world 
may be deceived now and then ; and no wonder your 
sympathies should have been awakened by the pierc- 
ing cries of the helpless little sufferers.'' 

''' Throth the sign's an it," said O'Brien ; " it's 
aisy to see that the gintlemin has no childher of their 
own, for if they had, by my sowl, it's long before 
they'd mistake the cry of a dirty cat for a Chrishthan 
child." 

This was a bitter hit of O'Brien's, for neither Mrs. 
Daw nor Mrs. Terrier had ever been " as ladies wish 
to be who love their lords." 

" I think," said the squire, " we may now dismiss 
this affair ; and after you have changed your clothes, 
Mr. Terrior, a glass of good wine will do you no 
harm, for I see no use of letting the decanters lie idle 
any longer, since this mysterious affair has been elu- 
cidated." 

'' Throth then, myself was thhiking it a quare thing 
all along ; for though sometimes a girl comes before 



THE CATASTROPHE. 121 

your worship to sware a child agin a man, by the 
powers, 1 never heerd av a gintleman comin to 
sware a child agin a woman yit ." 

"Come, gentlemen," said the squire, "the wine 
waits for us, and O'Brien and his son shall each have 
a glass of whiskey, to drink repose to the souls of the 
cats ." 

" Good luck to your honor," said O'Brien, " and 
the Misthress too — ah, by dad, it's she that knows the 
differ betune a cat and a child; and more power 
your honor's elbow ." 

" Thank you, Paddy," said the Squire. 

But no entreaties on the part of Squire Sturdy 
could induce the discomfited Daw and Terrier to 
accept the Squire's proferred hospitality. The truth 
was, they were both utterly crest-fallen, and, as the 
ladies had overheard the whole affair, they were both 
anxious to get out of the house as fast as they could ; 
so the Squire bowed them out of the hall-door — they 
wishing him a very civil good-night, and apologizing 
for the trouble they had given him. 

" Oh, don't mention it," said the laughing Squire, 
" really 1 have been very much amused ; for of all 
the strange cases that have ever come within my 
knowledge, I have never met one with so very curi- 
ous a cat — astrophe !" 



THE DEVIL'S MILL. 



<* His word is more than the miraculous harp : 
He hath raised the wall, and houses too." 

Teinpest. 



Beside the river Liffey, stands the picturesque ruiu 
of a mill, overshadowed by some noble trees that 
grow in great luxuriance at the water's edge. Here, 
one day, I was accosted by a silver-haired old man, 
that for some time had been observing me, and who, 
when I was about to leave the spot, approached me, 
and said, " I suppose it's after takin' off the ould 
mill you'd be, Sk?" 

I replied in the affirmative. 

'' Maybe your honor id let me get a sight iv it,' 
said he. 

" With pleasure," said I, as I untied the strings of 
my portfolio, and, drawing the sketch from amongst 
its companions, presented it to him. He consider- 
ed it attentively for some time, and at length ex- 
claimed, " Throth there it is, to the life — the broken 
roof and the wather coorse ; aye, even to the very 
spot where the gudgeon of the wheel was wanst, let 
alone the big stone at the corner that was laid the 



THE devil's mill. 123 

first, by himself ;" and he gave the last word with 
mysterious emphasis^ and handed the drawing back 
to me with a " thankee,, Sir/' of most respectful ac- 
knowledgment. 

"And who was ' himself/" said I, "that laid that 
stone?" feigning ignorance^ and desiring "to draw 
him out," as the phrase is. 

" Oh, then, maybe it's what you'd be a stranger 
here," said he. 

" Almost," said I. 

" And did you never hear tell of L 's mill," said 

he, '^ and how it was built .''" 

"Never," was my answer. 

" Throth then I thought young and ould, rich and 
poor, knew that — far and near. 

" I don't, for one," said I ; " but perhaps," I added, 
bringing forth some little preparation for a lunch, 
that I had about me, and producing a small flask of 
whiskey — ^'perhaps you will be so good as to tell me, 
and take a slice of ham and drink my health," offer- 
ing him a dram from my flask, and seating myself on 
the sod beside the river. 

" Thank you kindly. Sir," says he ; and so, after 
" warming his heart," as he said himself, he proceed- 
ed to give an account of the mill in question. 

" You see, Sir, there was a man wonst, in times 
back, that owned a power o' land about here, but 
God keep uz, they say he didn't come by it honestly, 
but did a crooked turn whenever 'twas to sarve him- 
self — and sure he sowld the pass,* and what luck or 
grace could he have afther that ?" 

• An.allusion \o a post of importance that was betrayed in some of 
the battles between William III. and James II. 

G 2 



]24 THE devil's mill. 

" How do you mean he sold the pass ?" said I. 

''Ohj sure your honor must have heerd how the 
pass was sould^ and he bethrayed his king- and coun- 
thry." 

^' Noj indeed/' said I. 

" Och, well/' answered my old informant, with a 
shake of the head, which he meant, like Lord 
Burleigh in the Critic, to be very significant, 
*' it's no matther now, and I don't care talk- 
in' about it ; and laste said is soonest mended — 
howsomever, he got a power of money for that same, 
and lands and what not ; but the more he got, the 
more he craved, and there was no ind to his sthrivin' 
for goold evermore, and thirstin' for the lucre of gain. 

'^Well, at last, the story goes, the Divih (God 
bless us,) kem to him and promised him hapes o' 
money, and all his heart could desire, and more too, if 
he'd sell his sowl in exchange." 

" Surely he did not consent to such a dreadful bar- 
gain as that," said I. 

*' Oh no, Sir," said the old man, with a slight play 
of muscle about the corners of his mouth, which, but 
that the awfulness of the subject suppressed it, would 
have amounted to a bitter smile — " Oh no — he was 
too cunnin' for that, bad as he was — and he was bad 
enough, God knows — he had some regard for his poor 
sinful sowl, and he would not give himself up to the 
Divil, all out ; but the villian, he thought he might 
make a bargain with the ould chap, and get all he 
wanted, and keep himself out of harm's way still : 
for he was mighty cute — and throth he was able for 
ould Nick any day. 



THE devil's mill. 125 

" Well, the barg-ain was struck, and it was this-a- 
way : The Devil was to give him all the goold ever 
he'd ask for, and was to let him alone as long as he 
could ; and the timpter promised him a long day, 
and said 'twould be a great while before he'd want 
him at all, at all ; and whin that time kem, he was 
to keep his hands afFhim, as long as the other could 
give him some work he couldn't do. 

" So, when the bargain was made, ' now,' says 
the Colonel to the Divil, ' give me all the money I 
want.' 

"'As much as you like,' says Ould Nick — 'how 
much will you have ?' 

" ' You must fill me that room,' says he, pointing 
into a murthering big room, that he emptied out on 
purpose — ' you must fill me that room,' says he, ' up 
to the very ceilin' with goolden guineas.' 

" ' And welkim,' says the Devil. 

" "With that. Sir, he began to shovel in the guineas 
into the room, like mad ; and the Colonel towld him, 
that as soon as he was done, to come to him in his 
own parlour below, and that he would then go up and 
see if the Divil was as good as his word, and had 
filled his room with the goolden guineas. So the 
Colonel went down stairs, and the Ould Fellow worked 
away as busy as a nailer, shovelling in the guineas 
by hundherds and thousands. 

" Well, he worked away for an hour, and more, 
and at last he began to get tired ; and he thought it 
mighty odd that the room wasn't fillin' fasther. Well, 
after restin' for a while, he began agin, and he put 



126 THE devil's mill. 

his shouldher to the work in airnest ; but still the room 
was no fuller, at all, at all. 

" ' Och ! bad luck to me/ says the Divil, ^ but the 
likes of this I never seen/ says he, ' far and near, up 
and down — the dickens a room I ever kem across 
afore,' says he, ' I couldn't cram, while a cook would 
be crammin' a Turkey, till now ; and here I am/ 
says he, ' losing my whole day, and I with such a 
power o' work an my hands yit, and this room no 
fuller than if I began five minutes ago.' 

" By gor, while he was spaaking, he seen the hape 
o' guineas in the middle of the flure growin' littler 
and littler every minit ; and at last, they wor disap- 
pearing, for all the world, like corn in the hopper of a 
mill. 

" ' Ho ! ho !' says Old Nick, ' is that the way wid 
you,' says he ; and with that, he run over to the hape 
of goold, and, what would you think, but it was run- 
nin' down through a big hole in the tlure, that the 
Colonel made through the ceilin', in the room 
below ,* and that was the work he was at afther 
he left the Divil, though he purtended he was 
only waitin' for him in his parlour, and there, the 
Divil, when he looked down through the hole in the 
flure, seen the Colonel, not content with the two rooms 
full of guineas, but, with a big shovel, throwin' them 
into a closet a one side of him, as fast as they fell 
down. So, puttin' his head through the hole, he 
called down to the Colonel : — 
" ' Hillo ! neighbour/ says he. 

" The Colonel looked up, and grew as white as a 



THE devil's mill. 127 

sheet when he seen he was found out, and the red 
eyes starin' down at him through the hole. 

" ^ Musha ! bad luck to your impudence,' says Owld 
Nick : Ms it sthrivin' to chate me you are,' says he, 
' you villian ?' 

*' '^ Oh ! forgive me this wanst,' says the Colonel, 
' and upon the honour of a gintleman,' says he, ' I'll 
never .' 

" ' Whisht ! whisht ! you thievin' rogue,' says the 
Divil — ' I'm not angry with you, at all, at all, but 
only like you the betther, bekase you're so cute — lave 
off slaving yourself there,' says he, ' you have got 
goold enough for this time ; and whenever you want 
more, you have only to say the word, and it shall be 
your's at command.' 

" So, with that, the Divil and he parted for that 
time ; and myself doesn't know whether they used to 
meet often afther, or not; but the Colonel never 
wanted money, any how, but went on prosperous in 
the world, and, as the saying is, if he tuk the dirt 
out o' the road, it id turn to money wid him ; and so, 
in coorse of time, he bought great estates, and was a 
great man intirely — not a greater in Ireland, throth." 

Fearing here a digression on landed interest, I in- 
terrupted him, to ask, how he and the fiend settled 
their account at last ? 

" Oh, Sir, you'll hear that all in good time. Sure 
enough it's terrible, and wondherful it is, at the end, 
and mighty improvin' — glory be to God." 

" Is that what you say," said I, in surprise, " be- 
cause a wicked and deluded man lost his soul to the 
tempter — — - ?" 



128 THE devil's mill. 

" Oh, the Lord forbid, your honor ; but don't be 
impatient, and you'll hear all. They say, at last, 
afther many years of prosperity, that the ould Colonel 
got stricken in years, and he began to have misgivin's 
in his conscience for his wicked doin's, and his heart 
was heavy as the fear of death kem upon him ; and 
sure enough, while he had such murnful thoughts, 
the Divil kem to him, and towld him he should go 
wid him. 

" Well, to be sure, the owld man was frekened, but 
he plucked up his courage and his cuteness, and towld 
the Divil, in a bantherin' way, joking like, that he 
had partic'lar business thin, that he was going to a 
party, and hoped an owld friend wouldn't inconvayni- 
ence him that a-way ." 

" Well," said I, laughing at the ' put-ofT' of going 
to a party, '^ the Devil, of course, would take no ex- 
cuse, and carried him off in a flash of fire ?" 

" Oh no. Sir," answered the old man, in something 
of a reproving, or, at least, offended tone — " that's 
the finish, I know very well, of many a story, such 
as we're talkin' of, but that's not the way of this, 
which is thruth every word, what I tell you ." 

''1 beg your pardon, for the interruption," said I. 

" No offince in life. Sir," said the venerable chroni- 
cler, who was now deep in his story, and would not 
be stopped. 

'•'Well, Sir," continued he, 'the Divil said he'd 
call the next day, and that he must be ready ; and 
sure enough, in the evenin', he kem to him ; and 
when the Colonel seen him, he reminded him of his 



THE devil's mill. 129 

bargain, that as long as he could give him some work 
he couldn't do, he wasn't obleeged to go. 

'' ^ That's thrue/ says the Devil. 

" ^ I'm glad you're as good as your word, any how/ 
says the Colonel.' 

" ' I never bruk my word yit/ says the owld 
chap, cockin' up his horns consaitedly — ' honour 
bright,' says he. 

" ^ Well, then,' says the Colonel, ' build me a mill, 
down there, by the river,' says he, ' and let me have 
it finished by to-morrow mornin'.' 

" ' Your will is my pleasure,' says the owld chap, 
and away he wint ; and the Colonel thought he had 
nick'd Owld Nick at last, and wint to bed quite aasy 
in his mind. 

'^ But, jewel machree, sure the first thing he heerd 
the next mornin' was, that the whole counthry round 
was runnin' to see a fine bran new mill, that was an 
the river side, where, the evening before, not a 
thing at all, at all, but rushes was standin', and all, 
of coorse,wondherin' what brought it there; and some 
sayin' 'twas not lucky, and many more throubled in 
their mind, but one and all agreein' it was not good ; 
and that's the very mill forninst you, that you were 
takin' alF, and the stone that I noticed is a remarkable 
one — a big coign-stone — that they say the Divil him- 
self laid first, and has the mark of four fingers and a 
thumb an it, to this day. 

'' But when the Colonel heerd it, he was more 
throubled than any, of coorse, and began to conthrive 
what else he could think iv, to keep himself out of 
the claws of the owld one. Well, he often heerd tell 

f3 



130 THE devil's mill. 

that there was one thing the Divil never could do, 
and I dar say you heerd it too, Sir — that is, that he 
couldn't make a rope out of the sands of the sae ; and 
so when the owld one kem to him the next day, and 
said his job was done, and that now the mill was 
built, he must either tell him somethin else he 
wanted done, or come away wid him. 

" So the Colonel said he saw it was all aver wid 
him ; ^ but,' says he, ' I wouldn't like to go wid you 
alive, and sure it's all the same to you, alive or 
dead ?' 

'^ ' Oh, that won't do,' says his frind ; ' I can't 
wait no more,' says he. 

" ' I don't want you to wait, my dear frind,' says 
the Colonel ; ^ all I want is, that you'll be plased to 
kill me, before you take me away/ 

" ' With pleasure,' says Ould Nick. 

" ' But will you promise me my choice of dyin' one 
partic'lar way?' says the Colonel. 

" ' Half a dozen ways, if it plazes you,' says he. 

" ' You're mighty obleegin',' says the Colonel ; 
' and so,' says he, ' I'd rather die by bein' hanged 
with a rope made out of the sands of the sae/ says he, 
lookin' mighty knowin' at the ould fellow. 

" ' I've always one about me,' says the Divil, ' to 
obleege my frinds,' says he ; and with that, he pulls 
out a rope made of sand, sure enough. 

''^ Oh, it's game you're makin',' says the Colonel, 
growin' as white as a sheet. 

" ^ The game is mine, sure enough,' says the ould 
fellow, grinnin', with a terrible laugh. 

" ' That's not a sand-rope at all,' says the Colonel. 



THE devil's mill. 131 

" ' Isn't it?' says the Divil, hittiii* him acrass the 
face with the ind iv the rope, and the sand (for it 
was made of sand, sure enough), the sand went into 
one of his eyes, and made the tears come with the 
pain. 

" ' That bates all I ever seen or heerd,' says the 
Colonel, sthrivin' to rally, and make another offer — 
' is there any thing you cant do ?' 

"^ ' Nothin' you can tell me,' says the Divil, ^ so 
you may as well lave off your palaverin', and come 
along at wanst.' 

^^ ' Will you give me one more offer ?' says the 
Colonel. 

" ' You don't desarve it,' says the Divil, ' but I 
don't care if I do ;' for you see. Sir, he was only play- 
in' wid him, and tantalizing the ould sinner. 

'' ' All fair,' says the Colonel, and with that, he 
ax'd him could he stop a woman's tongue ? 

*' ' Thry me,' says Ould Nick. 

" ' Well, then,' says the Colonel, ' make my lady's 
tongue be quiet for the next month, and I'll thank 
you.' 

" ' She'll never throuble you agin,' says Ould Nick ; 
and, with that, the Colonel heerd roarin' and cryin', 
and the door of his room was threwn open, and in ran 
his daughther, and fell down at his feet, telling him 
her mother had just dhropped dead. 

" The minit the door opened, the Divil runs and 
hides himself behind a big elbow-chair ; and the 
Colonel was frekened almost out of his siven sinses, 
by raison of the sudden death of his poor lady, let 
alone the jeopardy he was in himself, seein' how the 



132 THE devil's MILI/. 

Dival had forestall' dhim every way ; and after ringin' 
Iiis bell_, and callin' in his sarvants, and recoverin' his 
daughther out of her faint_, he was goin' away wid her 
out o' the room J whin the Divil caught howld of him 
by the skirt of the coat^ and the Colonel was obleegcd 
to let his daughter be carried out by the sarvants, 
and shut the door afther them. 

" ' Well^' says the Divil, and he grinn'd and waggM 
his tail, all as one as a dog when he's plased — ' what 
do you say now?' says he. 

" ' Oh,' says the Colonel, ' only lave me alone antil 
I bury my poor wife,' says he, ' and I'll go with you 
then, you villian,' says he. 

'' ' Don't call names,' says the Divil ; ' you had 
betther keep a civil tongue in your head,' says he ; 
' and it doesn't become a gintleman to forget good 
manners.' 

'' Well, Sir, to make a long story short, the Divil 
purtended to let him off, out of kindness, for three 
days, antil his wife was buried ; but the raison of it 
was this, that when the lady his daughther faulted, he 
loosened the clothes about her throat, and in pulling 
some of her dhress away, he tuk aff a goold chain 
that was an her neck, and put it in his pocket, and 
the chain had a diamond crass an it, (the Lord be 
praised !) and the Divil darn't touch him while he 
had the sign of the crass about him. 

'"Well, the poor Colonel, God forgive him, was 
grieved for the loss of his lady, and she had an iligant 
berrin— and they say, that when the prayers was 
readin' over the dead, tlie ould Colonel took it to 



THE devil's 3IILL. ]33 

heart like any thing, and the word o' God kem home 
to his poor sinful sowl at last. 

" Well, Sir, to make a long story short, the ind iv 
it was, that for the three days o' grace that was given 
to him, the poor deluded ould sinner did nothin' at all 
but read the Bible from mornin' till night, and bit or 
sup didn't pass his lips all the time, he was so intint 
upon the holy book, but sat up in an ould room in 
the far ind iv the house, and bid no one disturb him 
an no account, and struv to make his heart bould with 
the words iv life ; and sure it was somethin' strinth- 
ened him at last, though as the time drew nigh that 
the inimy was to come, he didn^t feel aisy, — and no 
wondher; and, by dad, the three days was past and 
gone in no time, and the story goes, that at the dead 
hour o' the night, when the poor sinner was readin 
away as fast as he could, my jewl, his heart jumped 
up to his mouth, at gettin' a tap on the shouldher. 

" ' Oh, murther !* says he, ^ who's there ?' for he 
was afeard to look up. 

'' ' It's me,' says the ould one, and he stood right 
foreninst him, and his eyes like coals o' fire, lookin' 
him through, and he said, with a voice that a'most 
split his ould heart, ' Come !' says he. 

" ^ Another day,' cried out the poor Colonel. 

" ' Not another hour,' says Sat'n. 

"'Half an hour?' 

'' ' Not a quarther,' says the Divil, grinnin', with a 
bitther laugh — '^ give over your readin', I bid you,' 
says he, ' and come away wid me.' 

" ' Only gi' me a few minutes,' says he. 
. " ' Lave afFyour palaverin', you sneakin' ould sin- 



134 THE devil's mill. 

ner,' says Sat'n ; ' you know you're bought and sould 
to me, and a purty bargain I have o' you, you ould 
baste,' says he — ' so come along at wanst,' and he put 
out his claw to ketch him ; but the Colonel tuk a fast 
hould o' the Bible, and begg'd hard that he'd let him 
alone, and wouldn't harm him antil the bit o' candle 
that was just blinkin' in the socket before him, was 
burned out. 

'' ' Well, have it so, you dirty coward,' says Ould 
Nick, and with that he spit an him. 

" But the poor ould Colonel didn't lose a minit, (for 
he was cunnin' to the ind,) but snatched the little 
taste o* candle that was foreninst him, out o' the 
candlestick, and puttin' it an the holy book before 
him, he shut down the cover an it, and quinched the 
light. With that, the Divil gave a roar like a bull, 
and vanished in a flash o' fire, and the poor Colonel 
fainted away in his chair ; but the sarvants heerd the 
noise, (for the Divil tore afF the roof o' the house 
when he left it,) and run into the room, and brought 
their master to himself agin. And from that day 
out he was an althered man, and used to have the 
Bible read to him every day, for he couldn't read him- 
self any more, by raison of losin' his eye-sight, when 
the Divil hit him with the rope of sand in the face, 
and afther, spit an him — for the sand wint into one 
eye, and he lost the other that-a-way, savin' your 
presence. 

'^ So you see. Sir, afther all, the Colonel, undher 
heaven, was too able for the Divil, and by readin' the 
good book, his sowl was saved, and (Glory be to 
God) isn't that mighty impromn ?" 



THE devil's mill. 135 

The foregoing tale, we believe, is somewhat com- 
mon to the legendary lore of other countries — at 
least, there is a German legend built on a similar 
foundation. We hope, however, it may not be con- 
sidered totally uninteresting, our etfort to show the 
diiFerent styles his sable majesty hag of cutting his 
capers in Germany and in Ireland. 



THE GRIDIRON; 



PADDY MULLOWNEY'S TRAVELS IN FRANCE. 



" Soldier. — Botkos thromuldo boskos. 

ParoUes.—l know you are the Musko's regiment. 

Soldier. — Bokos vanvado :— 

Parolles.—l understand thee, and can speak thy tongue." 

All's well that ends ivell. 



Matthews, in his " Trip to America/' gives a 
ludicrous representation of an Irishman who has left 
his own country on the old-fashioned speculation of 
" seeking his fortune" — and who, after various pre- 
vious failures in the pursuit, at length goes into the 
back settlements with the intention of becoming in- 
terpreter general between the Yankees and the Indian 
tribes — but the Indians reject his proferred ser\'^ice, 
^' The poor ignorant craytures" as he himself says, 
"just because he did not understand their language." 
We are told, moreaver, that Goldsmith visited the 
land of dykes and dams, for the purpose of teaching 
the Hollanders English, quite overlooking (until his 
arrival in the country made it obvious,) that he did 



THE GRIDIRON. 137 

not know a word of Dutch himself. I have prefaced 
the following story thus^, in the hope that the "prece- 
dent," which covers so many absurdities in law, may 
be considered available by the author, as well as the 
suitor, and may serve a turn in the court of criticismj 
as well as in the common pleas. 

A certain old gentleman in the west of Ireland, 
whose love of the ridiculous quite equalled his taste 
for claret and fox-hunting, was wont, upon certain 
festive occasions when opportunity oiFered, to amuse 
his friends by drawing out one of his servants who 
was exceeding fond of what he termed his "thravels," 
and in whom, a good deal of whim, some queer sto- 
ries, and perhaps, more than all, long and faithful ser- 
vices, had established a right of loquacity. He was 
one of those few trusty and privileged domestics, 
who, if his master unheedingly uttered a rash thing 
in a fit of passion, would venture to set him right. 
If the squire said, " I'll turn that rascal off,' my 
friend Pat would say, " throth you won't. Sir ;" and 
Pat was always right, for if any altercation arose 
upon the " subject matter in hand," he was sure to 
throw in some good reason, either from former ser- 
vice — general good conduct — or the delinquent's " wife 
and childher," that always turned the scale. 

But I am digressing : on such merry-meetings as 
I have alluded to, the master, after making certain 
'' approaches," as a military man would say, as the 
preparatory steps in laying siege to some extrava- 
ganza of his servant, might, perchance, assail Pat 
thus : " By the bye. Sir John, (addressing a distin- 
guished guest,) Pat has a very curious story, which 



138 THE GRIDIRON. 

something you told me to-day reminds me of. You 
remember Pat, (turning to the man, evidently pleased 
at the notice thus paid to himself,) you remember that 
queer adventure you had in France ?" 

" Throth I do. Sir," grins forth Pat. 

" What !" exclaims Sir John, in feigned surprise, 
" was Pat ever in France }" 

" Indeed he was," cries mine host ; and Pat adds, 
" ay, and farther, plase your honor." 

" I assure you. Sir John," continues my host, " Pat 
told me a story once that surprised me very much, 
respecting the ignorance of the French." 

'^Indeed!" rejoins the baronet, ^^ really, I always 
supposed the French to be a most accomplished peo- 
ple." 

" Throth then, they're not. Sir," interrupts Pat. 

" Oh, by no means," adds mine host, shaking his 
head emphatically. 

" I believe, Pat, 'twas when you were crossing the 
Atlantic?" says the master, turning to Pat with a 
seductive air, and leading into the '^^full and true 
account" — (for Pat had thought fit to visit North 
Amerikay, for " a rason he had," in the autumn of the 
year ninety-eight.) 

" Yes, Sir," says Pat, " the broad Atlantic," a fa- 
vourite phrase of his, which he gave with a brogue 
as broad, almost, as the Atlantic itself. 

" It was the time I was lost in crassin' the broad 
Atlantic, a comin' home," began Pat, decoyed into 
the recital ; " whin the winds began to blow, and 
the sae to rowl, that you'd think the Colleen dhas, 
(that was her name,) would not have a mast left but 
what would rowl out of her. 



THE GRIDIRON. 139 

" Well, sure enough, the masts went by the boord, 
at last, and the pumps was choak'd, (divil choak them 
for that same,) and av coorse the wather gained an 
us, and troth to be filled with wather is neither good 
for man or baste ; and she was sinkin' fast, settlin' 
down, as the sailors calls it, and faith I never was 
good at settlin' down in my life, and I liked it then 
less nor ever ; accordianly we prepared for the worst, 
and put out the boat, and got a sack o' bishkits, and 
a cashk o' pork, and a kag o' wather, and a thrifle o' 
rum aboord, and any other little matthers we could 
think iv in the mortial hurry we wor in — and faith 
there was no time to be lost, for my darlint, the Col- 
leen dhas went down like a lump o' lead, afore we 
wor many sthrokes o' the oar away from her. 

" Well, we dhrifted away all that night, and next 
mornin' we put up a blanket an the ind av a pole as 
well as we could, and thin we sailed iligant, for we 
darn't show a stitch o' canvass the night before, bekase 
it was blowin' like bloody murther, savin' your pre- 
sence, and sure it's the wondher of the world we 
wom't swally'd alive by the ragin' sae. 

" Well, away we wint, for more nor a week, and 
nothin' before our two good-lookin' eyes but the ca- 
nophy iv heaven, and the wide ocean — the broad 
Atlantic — not a thing was to be seen but the sae 
and the sky ; and though the sae and the sky is 
mighty purty things in themselves, throth they're 
no great things when you've nothin' else to 
look at for a week together — and the barest rock 
in the world, so it was land, would be more 



J40 THE GRIDIRON. 

welkim. And then^ soon enough troth, our pro- 
visions began to run low, the bishkits, and the wa- 
ther, and the rum — troth that was gone first of all — 
God help uz — and, oh ! it was thin that starvation 
began to stare us in the face — ' Oh, murther, mur- 
ther, captain darlint,' says I, ' I wish we could see 
land any where,' says I. 

^' ' More power to your elbow, Paddy, my boy,' 
says he, ' for sitch a good wish, and throth it's my- 
self wishes the same.' 

" ' Oh,' says I, ' that it may plaze you, sweet queen 
iv heaven, supposing it was only a dissolute island,' 
says I, ' inhabited wid Turks, sure they wouldn't be 
such bad Christhans as to refuse us a bit and a sup.' 

'^ 'Whisht, whisht, Paddy,' says the captain, 'don't 
be talkin' bad of any one,' says he ; ' you don't 
know how soon you may want a good word put in 
for yourself, if you should be called to quarthers in 
th' other world all of a suddent,' says he. 

" ' Thrue for you, captain darlint,' says I — I call- 
ed him darlint, and made free wid him, you see, 
bekase disthress makes uz all equal — ' thrue for you, 
captain jewel — God betune uz and harm, I owe no 
man any spite' — and throth that was only thruth. 
Well, the last bishkit was sarved out, and by gor the 
wather itself was all gone at last, and we passed the 
night mighty cowld — well, at the brake o' day the 
sun riz most beautiful out o' the waves, that was as 
bright as silver and as clear as cryshthal. But it 
was only the more crule upon uz, for we wor beginin' 
to feel terrible hungry ; when all at warrst I thought 
I spied the land — by gor I thought I felt my heart 



THE GRIDIRON. 141 

up in my throat in a minnit, and ' thundher an turf, 
captain/ says I, Mook to leeward/ says I. 

" ' What for?' says he. 

'' ' I think I see the land,' says I. So he ups with 
his bring-'m-near — (that's what the sailors call a 
spy-glass. Sir,) and looks out, and, sure enough, it 
was. 

"^•^ Hurra!' says he, '^ we're all right nowj pull 
away my boys,' says he. 

" * Take care you're not mistaken,' says I ; maybe 
it's only a fog-bank, captain darlint,' says I. 

'^ ' Oh no,' says he, ^ it's the land in airnest.' 

"'Oh then, whereabouts in the wide world are 
we. Captain ?' says I, ' maybe it id be in Roosia, or 
Proosia, or the Garman oceant,' says I. 

" * Tut, you fool,' says he — for he had that consait- 
ed way wid him — thinkin' himself cleverer nor any 
one else — ' tut, you fool,' says he, ' that's France/ 
says he. 

" ' Tare an ouns,' says I, ' do you tell me so ? and 
how do you know it's France it is, captain dear?' 
says I. 

" ' Bekase this is the Bay o' Bishky we're in now, 
says he. 

" * Throth I was thinkin' so myself, says I, ' by the 
rowl it has ; for I often heerd av it in regard o' that 
same ;' and throth the likes av it I never seen before 
nor sinse, and, with the help o' God, never will, 

" Well, with that, my heart began to grow light, 
and when I seen my life was safe, I began to grow 
twice hungrier nor ever — so says I, Captain, jewel, I 
wish we had a gridiron.' 



142 THE GRIDIRON. 

** ' Why then/ says he, ' thundher and turf/ says 
he, ' what puts a gridiron into your head ?' 

" ' Bekase I'm starvin' with the hunger/ says I. 

" ' And sure bad luck to you/ says he, ^you couldn't 
ate a gridiron,' says he, ' barrin' you wor a pelican 
o' the wildherness,' says he. 

" ' Ate a gridiron !' says I ; ' och, in throth I'm not 
sitch a gommoch all out as that any how. But sure 
if we had a gridiron we could dress a beef-stake,' 
says I. 

"'Arrah! but where's the beef-stake/ says he. 

" ^ Sure, couldn't we cut a slice afF the pork,' says I. 

*' ' By gor, I never thought o' that,' says the cap- 
tain. ' You're a clever fellow, Paddy,' says he, 
laughin'. 

'^ ' Oh there's many a thrue word said in joke,' says I. 

" ' Thrue for you Paddy/ says he. 

"'Well, then/ says I, 'if you put me ashore there 
beyant,' (for we were nearin' the land all the time,) 
' and sure I can ax thim for to lind me the loan of a 
gridiron,' says I. 

" ' Oh by gor the butther's comin' out o' the stir-a- 
bout in airnist now,' says he, ' you gommoch,' says 
he, ' sure I towld you before that's France — and sure 
they're all furriners* there,' says the captain. 

"'Well/ says I, 'and how do you know but I'm 
as good a furriner myself as any o' thim.' 

" ' What do you mane ?' says he. 

" ' I mane,' says I, ' what I towld you, that I'm as 
good a furriner myself as any o' thim.' 

"/ Make me sinsible,' says he. 

• Foreigners. 



THE GRIDIRON. 143 

" ' By dad maybe that's more nor me, or greater 
nor me could do/ says I — and we all began to laugh 
at him, for I thought I'd pay him off for his bit o' 
consait about the Garman Oceant. 

" ' Leave aff your humbuggin', says he, ^ I bid 
you, and tell me what it is you mane at all, at all.' 

^^ ' Parly voofrongsay,' says I. 

*' ' Oh your humble sarvant,* says he, ' why, by gor, 
you're a scholar, Paddy.' 

" *^ Throth, you may say that,* says I. 

" ' Wh.j, you're a clever fellow Paddy,' says the 
captain, jeerin' like. 

" ' You're not the first that said that,' says I, 
' whether you joke or no.' 

" ' Oh, but I'm in airnest,' says the captain' — ' and 
do you tell me Paddy,' says he, 'that you spake 
Frinch ?' 

"' ' Parly voofrongsay,' says I. 

" ' By gor that bangs Banagher, and all the world 
knows Banagher bangs the divil — I never met the 
likes o' you Paddy,' says he — ' pull away boys, and 
put Paddy ashore, and maybe we wont get a good 
bellyfull before long.' 

" So with that it was no sooner said nor done — they 
pulled away and got close into shore in less than no 
time, and run the boat up in a little creek, and a 
beautiful creek it was, with a lovely white sthrand, 
an iligant place for ladies to bathe in the summer — 
and out I got, and it's stiff enough in my limbs I was 
afther bein' cramp'd up in the boat, and perished 
with the cowld and hunger; but I conthrived to 
scramble on, one way or the other, tow'rds a little 



144 THE GRIDIRON. 

bit iv a wood that was close to the shore, and the 
smoke curlm' out of it quite timptin' like. 

" ' By the powdhers o' war, I'm all right,' says I ; 
'there's ahouse there/ — and sure enough there was, and 
a parcel of men, women and childher, ating their 
dinner round a table quite convaynient. And so I 
wint up to the door, and I thought I'd be very civil 
to thim, as I heerd the Frinch was always mighty 
p'lite intirely — and I thought I'd shew them I knew 
what good manners was. 

" So I took afF my hat and making a low bow, says 
I, ' God save all here,' says I. 

" Well to be sure they all stopt ating at wanst and 
begun to stare at me, and faith they almost look'd 
me out of countenance — and I thought to myself it 
was not good manners at all — more be token from 
furriners, which they call so mighty p'lite; but I 
never minded that, in regard of wantin' the gridiron, 
^and so,' says I, 'I beg your pardon,' says I, ''for 
the liberty I take, but its only bein' in disthress in 
reg-ard of ating,' says I, 'that I make bowld to 
throuble yez, and if you could lind me the loan of a 
gridiron,' says I, ' I'd be intirely obleeged to ye.' 

"By gor, they all stared at me twice worse nor 
before, and with that, says I, (knowing what was in 
their minds,) ' indeed it's thrue for you,' says I ; ' I'm 
tathered to pieces, and God knows I look quare 
enough, but it's by raison of the storm,' says I, 
* which dhruv us ashore here below, and we're all 
starvin',' says I. 

" So then they began to look at each other agin, 
and myself, seeing at wanst dirty thoughts was in 



THE GRIDIRON. 145 

their heads, and that they tuk me for a poor beggar 
comin' to crave charity — with that, says I, ' Oh ! not 
at all,' says I, ' by no manes, we have plenty o' mate 
ourselves, there below, and we'll dhress it,' says I, 
'if you would be plased to lind us the loan of a 
gridiron,' says I, makin' a low bow. 

" Well, Sir, with that, throth they stared at me 
twice worse nor ever, and faith I began to think that 
maybe the captain was wrong, and that it was not 
France at all at all — and so says I — * 1 beg pardon. 
Sir,' says I, to a fine ould man, with a head of hair 
as white as silver — 'maybe I'm undher a mistake,* 
says I ; ' but I thought I was in France, sir : are'nt 
you furriners ?' says I — ' Parly voo Frongsay T 

'' ' We munseer,' says he. 

" ' Then would you lind me the loan of a gridiron, 
says I, 'if you plase?' 

" Oh, it was thin that they stared at me as if I 
had siven heads ; and faith myself began to feel flus- 
thered like, and onaisy — and so says I, making a bow 
and scrape agin, ' I know it's a liberty I take, Sir,' 
says I, ' but it's only in the regard of bein' cast away, 
and if you plaze. Sir,' says I, ' Farly voo Frongsay.' 

" ' We munseer,' says he, mighty sharp. 

" ' Then would you lind me the loan of a gridiron ?" 
says I, ' and you'll obleege me.' 

" Well, Sir, the ould chap began to munseer me, 
but the divil a bit of a gridiron he'd gi' me ; and 
so I began to think they were all neygars, for all 
their fine manners ; and throth my blood begun 
to rise, and says I, 'By my sowl, if it was you was in 
disthriss,' says I, * and if it was to ould Ireland you 

H 



146 THE GRIDIRON. 

kem, its not only the gridiron they'd give you, if you 
ax'd it, but something to put an it too, and the dhrop 
o' dhrink into the bargain, and cead mile failte.* 

*' Well, the word cead mile failte seemed to sthreck 
his heart, and the ould chap cocked his ear, and so I 
thought I'd give him another offer, and make him 
sinsible at last ; and so says I, wonst more, quite slow, 
that he might undherstand — * Parly — voo — Frongsay, 
munseer?' 

" ' We munseer,' says he. 

" ' Then lind me the loan of a gridiron,' says I, 
' and bad scram to you.' 

" Well, bad win* to the bit of it he'd gi' me, and 
the ould chap begins bowin' and scrapin,' and said 
something or other about a long tongs.* 

*^^*^Phoo! — the divil sweep yourself and your 
tongs,' says I, ' I don't want a tongs at all at all ; 
but can't you listen to raison,' says I — ' Parly voo 
Frongsay ?' 

" ' We munseer.' 

" ^ Then lind me the loan of a gridiron,' says I, 
^ and howld your prate.' 

"Well, what would you think but he shook his 
owld noddle as much as to say he wouldn't; and so 
gays I, ' Bad cess to the likes o' that I ever seen — 
throth if you wor in my counthry it's not that-a-way 
they'd use you; the curse o' the crows an you, you 
owld sinner,' says I, ' the divU a longer I'll darken 
your door.' 

''So he seen I was vex'd, and I thought, as I was 
turnin' away, I seen him begin to relint, and that 

• Some mystification of Paddy's touching the French n'entends. 



THE GRIDIRON. 147 

his conscience throubled him; and says I, tumin* 
back, 'Well, I'll give you one chance more — you 
owld thief — are you a Chrishthan at all at all ? are 
you a furrinner ?' says I, ' that all the world calls so 
p'lite. Bad luck to you, do you undherstand your 
own language ? — Parly voo Frongsay^ says I. 

" ^ We munseer/ says he. 

'^ " Then thundher and turf,' says I, ' will you lind 
me the loan of a gridiron ?' 

" Well, Sir, the divil resave the bit of it he'd gi' 
me — and so with that, the ' curse o' the hungry an 
you, you owld negarly villian,' says I ; ' the back o* 
my hand and the sowl o' my fut to you ; that you 
may want a gridiron yourself yet,' says I ; '^ and 
wherever I go, high and low, rich and poor, shall 
hear o" you,' says I ; and with that I left them there, 
sir, and kem away — and in throth its often sence, 
that I thought that it was remarkable.^* 



h2 



PADDY THE PIPER. 



'' Dogberry. — Marry, Sir, they have committed false report; — 
moreover they have spoken untruths ; sencondarily, they are slanders ; 
sixthly, and lastly, they have belied a lady ; thirdly, they have veri- 
fied unjust things ; and, to conclnde, they are lying knaves." 

Mvch ado about Nothing. 



The only introduction I shall attempt to the fol- 
lowing " extravaganza," is, to request the reader to 
suppose it to be delivered by a rolicking Irish pea- 
sant, in the richest brogue, and most dramatic man- 
ner. 

" I'll tell you, Sir, a mighty quare story, and it's as 
thrue as I'm standin' here, and that's no lie : — 

" It was in the time of the 'ruction,* whin the long 
summer days, like many a fine fellow's precious life, 
was cut short by raison of the martial law,— that 
wouldn't let a dacent boy be out in the evenin', good 
or bad ; for whin the day's work was over, divil a one 
of uz daar go to meet a frind over a glass, or a girl 
at the dance, but must go home, and shut ourselves 
up, and never budge, nor rise latch, nor dhraw boult, 
antil the morning kem agin. 

* Insurrection. 



PADDY THE PIPER. l49 

'' Well, to come to my story : — 'Twas afther night- 
fall, and we wor sittin' round the fire, and the pratees 
was boilin'j and the noggins of butther-milk was 
standin' ready for our suppers, whin a knock kem to 
the door. 

" ' Whisht,' says my father, * here's the sojers come 
upon us now,' says he ; ^ bad luck to thim, the vil- 
lians, I'm afeard they seen a glimmer of the fire 
through the crack in the door,' says he. 

" ' No,' says my mother, ' for I'm afther hanging an 
ould sack and my new petticoat agin it, a while ago.' 

" ' Well, whisht, any how,' says my father, ' for 
there's a knock agin' ; and we all held our tongues 
till another thump kem to the door. 

'^ ' Oh, it's a folly to purtind any more,' says my 
father — 'they're too cute to be put off that-a-way,' 
says he. 'Go, Shamus,' says he to me, ' and see 
who's in it.' 

" ' How can I see who's in it in the dark ?' says I. 

" ' Well,' says he, ' light the candle thin, and see 
who's in it, but don't open the door, for your life, 
barrin' they brake it in,' says he, ' exceptin' to the 
sojers, and spake thim fair, if it's thim.' 

" So with that I wint to the door, and there was 
another knock. 

' Who's there ?' says I. 

' It's me,' says he. 

' Who are you ?' says I. 

' A frind,' says he. 

' Baithershin" says I — ' who are you at all ?' 

' Arrah ! don't you know me ?' says he. 

'' ■' Divil a taste,' says I. 



150 PADDY THE PIPER. 

" ' Sure I'm Paddy the piper/ says he. 

'' ' Oh, thundher and turf/ says I, * is it you, Paddy, 
that's in it .''* 

" * Sorra one else/ says he. 

'^ * And what brought you at this hour ?' says I. 

" ' By gar/ says he, ' I didn't like goin' the roun' 
by the road/ says he, ' and so I kern the short cut, 
and that's what delayed me,' says he. 

'' *^ Oh, bloody wars !' says I — * Paddy, I wouldn't 
be in your shoes for the king's ransom/ says I ; 'for 
you know yourself it's a hangin' matther to be cotch- 
ed out these times,' says I. 

*' ' Sure I know that,' says he, ' God help me ; and 
that's what I kem to you for,' says he ; ' and let me 
in for ould acquaintance sake,' says poor Paddy. 

" ' Oh, by this and that,' says I, * I darn't open 
the door for the wide world ; and sure you know it ; 
and throth if the Husshians or the Yeo's* ketches you,* 
says I — ' they'll murther you, as sure as your name's 
Paddy.' 

" ' Many thanks to you/ says he, * for your good 
intintions ; but, plaze the pigs, I hope it's not the 
likes o' that is in store for me, any how.' 

" ' Faix then,' says I, ' you had betther lose no time 
in hidin' yourself,' says 1 ; 'for throth I tell you, it's 
a short thrial and a long rope the Husshians would be 
afther givin' you — for they've no justice, and less 
marcy, the villians !' 

" ' Faith thin, more's the raison you should let me 
in, Shamus,' says poor Paddy. 

* Yeomen. 



PADDY THE PIPER. 151 

" ' It's a folly to talk/ says I, * I darn't open the 
door.' 

" ' Oh then, millia murther !' says Paddy, * what'll 
become of me at all, at all,' says he. 

" * Go afFinto the shed,' says I, ' behind the house, 
where the cow is, and there there's an iligant lock o' 
straw, that you may go sleep in,' says I, ' and a fine 
bed it id be for a lord, let alone a piper.' 

" So off Paddy set to hide in the shed, and throth 
it wint to our hearts to refuse him, and turn him 
away from the door, more, by token, when the pra- 
tees was ready — for sure the bit and the sup is always 
vvelkim to the poor thraveller. Well, we all wint to 
bed, and Paddy hid himself in the cow-house ; and 
now I must tell you how it was with Paddy : — 

" You see, afther sleeping for some time, Paddy 
wakened up, thinkin' it was mornin', but it wasn't 
mornin' at all, but only the light o' the moon that 
deceaved him ; but at all evints, he wanted to be 
stirrin' airly, bekase he was goin' off to the town 
hard by, it bein' fair-day, to pick up a few ha'- 
pence with his pipes — for the divil a betther piper 
was in all the counthry round, nor Paddy ; and every 
one gave it up to Paddy, that he was iligant an the 
pipes, and played 'Jinny bang'd the Weaver,' beyant 
tellin', and the ' Hare in the Corn,' that you'd think 
the very dogs was in it, and the horsemen ridin' like 
mad. 

" Well, as I was sayin', he set off to go to the 
fair, and he wint meandherin' along through the 
fields, but he didn't go far, antil climbin' up through 
a hedge, when he was comin' out at t'other side, his 



152 PADDY THE PIPER. 

head kem plump agin somethin' that made the fire 
flash out iv his eyes. So with that he looks up — and 
what do you think it was. Lord be marciful to uz, 
but a corpse hangin' out of a branch of a three. 

*' ' Oh, the top o' the mornin' to you. Sir, says 
Paddy, ' and is that the way with you, my poor fel- 
low ? throth you tuk a start out o' me,' says poor 
Paddy; and 'twas thrue for him, for it would make 
the heart of a stouter man nor Paddy jump, to see the 
like, and to think of a Chrishthan erathur being 
hanged up, all as one as a dog. 

" Now, 'twas the rebels that hanged this chap — 
bekase, you see, the corps had good clothes an him, 
and that's the raison that one might know it was the 
rebels, — by raison that the Russians and the Orange- 
men never hanged any body wid good clothes an him, 
but only the poor and definceless crathurs, like uz ; 
so, as I said before, Paddy knew well it was the hoys 
that done it ; ' and,' says Paddy, eyein' the ^orps, 
' by my sowl, thin, but you have a beautiful pair o' 
boots an you,' says he, ' and it's what I'm thinkin' 
you won't have any great use for thim no more; and 
sure it's a shame to see the likes o' me,' says he, 'the 
best piper in the sivin counties, to be trampin' wid a 
pair of ould brogues not worth three traneens, and a 
corps wid such an iligant pair o' boots, that wants 
some one to wear thim. So, with that, Paddy lays 
hould of him by the boots, and began a pullin' at 
thim, but they wor mighty stiff; and whether it was 
by rayson of their being so tight, or the branch of the 
three a-jiggin' up and down, all as one as a weighdee 
buckettee, and not lettin' Paddy cotch any right hoult 



PADDY THE PIPER. l53 

o' thim — he could get no advantage o' thim at all — 
and at last he gev it up, and was goin' away, whin 
lookin' behind him agin, the sight of the iligant fine 
boots was too much for him, and he turned back, de- 
tarmined to have the boots, any how, by fair means 
or foul j and I'm loath to tell you now how he got 
thim — for indeed it was a dirty turn, and throth it 
was the only dirty turn I ever knew Paddy to be 
guilty av ; and you see it was this a-way : 'pon my 
sowl, he pulled out a big knife, and by the same 
token, it was a knife with a fine buck-handle, and a 
murtherin' big blade, that an uncle o' mine, that was 
a gardener at the Lord's, made Paddy a prisint av; 
and more by token, it was not the first mischief that 
knife done, for it cut love between thim, that was the 
best of friends before; and sure 'twas the wondher of 
every one, that two knowledgable men, that ought to 
know betther, would do the likes, and give and take 
sharp steel in friendship ; but I'm forgettin' — well, 
he outs with his knife, and what does he do, but he 
cut off the legs av the corps ; ' and,' says he, * I can 
take afi"the boots at my convaynience ;' and throth it 
was, as I said before, a dirty tiirn. 

"Well, Sir, he tuck'd the legs undher his arm, and 
at that minit the moon peeped out from behind a 
cloud — *0h! is it there you are?" says he to the 
moon, for he was an impidint chap — and thin, seein' 
that he made a mistake, and that the moon-light de- 
ceaved him, and that it wasn't the airly dawn, as he 
conceaved; and bein' friken'd for fear himself might 
be cotched and trated like the poor corps he was 
afther a malthreating, if he was found walking the 

H 3 



154 PADDY THE PIPER. 

counthry at that time — by gar, he turned about, and 
walked back agin to the cow-house, and, hidin" the 
corps's legs in the sthraw, Paddy wint to sleep agin. 
But what do you think ? the divil a long Paddy was 
there antil the sojers kem in aimest, and, by the 
powers, they carried off Paddy — and 'faith it was 
only sarvin' him right for what he done to the poor 
corps. 

" Well, whin the morning kem, my father says to 
me, 'Go, Shamus,' says he, 'to the shed, and bid 
poor Paddy come in, and take share o' the pratees, 
for I go bail he's ready for his breakquest by this, any 
how.?' 

"Well, out I wint to the cow-house, and called 
out 'Paddy !' and afther callin' three or four times, 
and gettin' no answer, I wint in, and called agin, and 
divil an answer I got still. ' Blood-an-agers !' says 
I, ' Paddy, where are you, at all, at all ? ' and so, 
castin' my eyes about the shed, 1 seen two feet stick- 
ing out from undher the hape o' sthraw — ' Musha ? 
thin,' says I, ' bad luck to you, Paddy, but you're 
fond of a warm corner, and maybe you haven't made 
yourself as snug as a flay in a blanket ? but I'll dis- 
turb your dhrames, I'm thinkin', says I,* and with 
that, I laid hould of his heels, (as I thought, God 
help me,) and givin' a good pull to waken him, as I 
intinded, away I wint, head over heels, and my brains 
was a'most knocked out agin the wall. 

" Well, whin I recovered myself, there I was, an 
the broad o' my back, and two things stickin' out of 
my hands, like a pair o' Husshian's horse-pist'ls — and 



PADDY THE PIPER. 155 

I thought the sight 'id lave my eyes, whin I seen they 
wor two mortial legs. 

"My jew'l, I threw them down like a hot pra- 
tee, and jumpin' up, I roared out millia murther. 
' Oh, you murtherin' villian/ says I, shakin' my fist 
at the cow — ' Oh, you unnath'ral haste,'' says 1, 
you've ate poor Paddy, you thievin* cannible, you're 
worse than a neyger,' says I ; ' and bad luck to you, 
how dainty you are, that nothin' 'id sarve you for 
your supper, but the best piper in Ireland ? 

" ' Weirasthru ! weirasthru !' what '11 the whole 
counthry say to such an unnathural murther ? and 
you, lookin' as innocent there as a lamb, and ating 
your hay, as quite as if nothin' happened — with that, 
I run out, for throth I didn't like to be near her ; 
and goin' in to the house, I tould them all about it. 

*' ' Arrah ! be aisy,' says my father. 

'^ ' Bad luck to the lie I tell you,' says I. 

" ' Is it ate Paddy ?' says they. 

" * Divil a doubt of it,' says I. 

" ^ Are you sure, Shamus ?' says my mother. 

" ' I wish I was as sure of a new pair o' brogues," 
says I. 

" ' Bad luck to the bit she has left iv him, but his 
two legs. 

" " And do you tell me she ate the pipes too ?' says 
my father. 

" ' By gor, I b'lieve so/ says I. 

" ' Oh, the divil fly away wid her,' says he,' ' what 
a cruel taste she has for music !' 

*' ' Arrah !' says my mother, ' don't be cursing the 
cow; that gives the milk to the childher.' 



156 PADDY THE PIPER. 

" Yis, I will/ says my father, ' why shouldn't I 
curse sitch an unnath'ral baste ?' 

"'You oughtn't to curse any livin' thing that's 
undher your roof,' says my mother. 

" ' By my sowl, thin/ says my father, ' she shan't 
be undher my roof any more ; for I'll sind her to the 
fair this minit/ says he, ' and sell her for whatever 
she'll bring. Go afF,' says he, ' Shamus, the minit 
you've ate your breakque&t, and dhrive her to the 
fair.' 

'^ ' Throth I don't like to dhrive her,' says I. 

" ' Arrah don't be makin' a gommagh of yourself,' 
says he. 

" ' Faith I don't,' says I. 

" ^ Well, like or no like,' says he, ' you must 
dhrive her.' 

" ' Sure, father,' says I, ' you could take more care 
iv her yourself.' 

" ' That's mighty good,' says he, ' to keep a dog 
and bark myself/ and faith I rec'llected the sayin' 
from that hour — ' let me have no more words about 
it,' says he, ' but be aff wid you.' 

"So, afF I wint, and it's no lie I'm tellin', whin I 
say it was sore agin my will I had any thing to do 
with sitch a villian of a baste. But, howsomever, I 
cut a brave long wattle, that I might dhrive the 
man-ather iv a thief, as she was, without bein' near 
her at all at all. 

"^ "Well, away we wint along the road, and mighty 
throng it wuz wid the boys and the girls, and, in 
short, all sorts, rich and poor, high and low, crowdin' 
to the fair. 



PADDY THE PIPER. 157 

" * God save you/ says one to me. 

" ' God save you, kindly,' says I. 

" ' That's a fine baste you're dhrivin', says he. 

" ' Throth she is/ says I ; though God knows it 
wint agin my heart to say a good word for the likes 
of her. 

" ' It's to the fair you're gohi', I suppose/ says he, 
'with the baste.?' (He was a snug-lookin' farmer, 
ridin' a purty little gray hack.) 

"'Faith thin you're right enough,' says I, ' it is 
to the fair I'm goin'. 

" * What do you expec' for her,' says he. 

" ' Faith thin myself doesn't know,' says I — and 
that was thrue enough, you see, bekase I was be- 
wildhered like, about the baste, intirely. 

"'That's a quare way to be goin' to market,' says 
he, ' and not to know what you expec' for your 
baste.' 

'" Och,' says I — not likin' to let him suspict there 
was any thing wrong wid her — ' Och,' says I, in a 
careless sort of a way, ' sure no one can tell what a 
baste 'ill bring, antil they come to the fair/ says I, 
' and see what price is goin'. 

" ' Indeed, that's nath'ral enough,' says he. ' But 
if you wor bid a fair price before you come to the 
fair, sure you might as well take it,' says he. 

" ' Oh, I've no objection in life,' says I. 

" ' Well thin, what will you ax for her.'*' says he. 

" ' Why thin, I wouldn't like to be onraysonable/ 
says I — (for the thruth was, you know, I wanted to 
get rid iv her) — ' and so I'll take four poimds for her/ 
says I, ' and no less,' 



158 PADDY THE PIPER. 

" ' No less ?' says he. 

^' ' Why sure, that's chape enough,' says I. 

" ' Throth it is/ says he ; ' and I'm thinkin' it's too 
chape it is/ says he ; ' for if there wasn't somethin' 
the matther, it's not for that you'd be sellin' the fine 
milch cow, as she is, to all appearance ?' 

" ' Indeed thin,' says I, ^ upon my conscience, she 
is a fine milch cow.' 

" ' Maybe,' says he, * she's gone off her milk, in re- 
gard that she doesn't feed well ?' 

" ' Och, by this and that,' says I, in regard of feed- 
in' there's not the likes of her in Ireland ; so make 
your mind aisy, and if you like her for the money, 
you may have her." 

" ' Why, indeed, I'm not in a hurry,' says he, * and 
I'll wait till I see how they go in the fair.' 

" ' With all my heart,' says I, purtendin' to be no 
ways consarned, but in troth I began to be afeard that 
the people was seein' somethin' unnath'ral about her, 
and that we'd never get rid of her, at all, at all- At 
last, we kem to the fair, and a great sight o' people 
was in it — throth you'd think the whole world was 
there, let alone the standin's o' gingerbread and ili- 
gant ribbins, and makins o' beautiful gownds, and 
pitch-and-toss, and merry-go-roun's, and tints with 
the best av drink in thim, and the fiddks playin' up 
t' incourage the boys and girls ; but I never minded 
them at all, but detarmint to sell the thievin' rogue 
of a cow afore I'd mind any divarshin in life, so an I 
dhriv her into the thick av the fair, whin all of a sud- 
dint, as I kem to the door av a tint, up sthruck the 
pipes to the tune av ^ Tattherin' Jack Welsh/ and. 



PADDY THE PIPER. 159 

my jew'l, in a minit, the cow cock'd her ears, and was 
makin' a dart at the tint. 

" ' Oh, murther !' says I, to the boys standin' by, 
' hould her,' says I, ' hould her — she ate one piper 
already, the vagabone, and, bad luck to her, she 
wants another now.' 

" ^ Is it a cow for to ate a piper ?' says one o' thim. 

" ' Divil a word o' lie in it, for I seen his corps my- 
self, and nothin' left but the two legs,' says I ; ' and 
it's a folly to be sthrivin' to hide it, for I see she'll 
never lave it afF— as poor Paddy Grogan knows to 
his cost. Lord be marciful to him/ 

'^^ Who's that takin' my name in vain?' says a 
voice in the crowd ; and with that, shovin' the throng 
a one side, who the divil should I see but Paddy 
Grogan, to all appearance. 

" ' Oh, hould him too, says I ; ' keep him av me, 
for it's not himself at all, but his ghost,' says I ; ''for 
he was kilt last night, to my sartin knowledge, every 
inch av him, all to his legs.' 

" Well, Sir, with that, Paddy— for it was Paddy 
himself as it kem out afther — fell a laughin', that 
you'd think his sides 'ud split ; and whin he kem to 
himself, he ups and he tould uz how it was, as I 
towld you already; and the likes av the fun they 
made av me, was beyant tellin', for wrongfully mis- 
doubtin' the poor cow, and layin' the blame iv atin' 
a piper an her. So we all wint into the tint to have 
it explained, and by gor it took a full gallon o' sper'ts 
t' explain it ; and we dhrank health and long life to 
Paddy and the cow, and Paddy played that day be- 
yant all tellin', and many a one said the likes was 



J 60 



PADDY THE PIPER. 



never heerd before nor sence, even from Paddy him- 
self — and av coorse the poor slandhered cow was 
dhruv home agin^ and many a quite day she had wid 
uz afther that ; and whin she died, throth my father 
had sitch a regard for the poor thing, that he had her 
skinned, and an iligant pair of breeches made out iv 
her hide, and it's in the fam'ly to this day ; and isn't 
it mighty remarkable it is, what, I'm goin' to tell you 
now, but it's as thrue as I'm here, that from that 
out, any one that has thim breeches an, the minit a 
pair o' pipes sthrikes up, they can't rest, but goes 
jiggin' and jiggin' in their sate, and never stops as 
long as the pipes is playin' — and there," said he, slap- 
ping the garment in question that covered his sinewy 
limb, with a spank of his brawny hand, that might 
have startled nerves more tender than mine — there, 
there is the very breeches that's an me now, and a 
fine pair they are this minit." 



The foregoing story I heard related by a gentle- 
man, who said he was not aware to whom the original 
authorship was attributable. 



THE PRIEST'S GHOST. 



" Hermione. — Pray you sit by us, 

And tell's a tale, 
JWawj/ZiMj.— Merry, or sad, sLall't be-? 
Her. — As merry as you will. 
Mam. — A sad tale's best for winter : 

I have one of sprites and goblins." 

Winter's Tule. 



" A SAD tale's best for winter/' saith the epigraph, 
and it was by the winter's hearth that I heard the 
following Ghost story, rendered interesting, from the 
air of reverential belief with which it was delivered 
from the withered lips of an old woman. 

Masses for the souls of the dead are among the 
most cherished items of the Roman Catholic peasant's 
belief; and it was to prove how sacred a duty the 
mass for the " soul of the faithful departed/' is con- 
sidered before the eternal judgment-seat, that the 
tale was told, which I shall endeavour to repeat as 
nearly as my memory will serve, in the words of the 
original narrator. It was a certain eve of Saint John, 
as well as I can remember, that the old dame gave 
as the date of the supernatural occurrence : — 

" Whin Mary O'Malley, a friend of my mother's, 
(God rest her sowl !) and it was herself tould me the 



162 THE priest's ghost. 

story : Mary O'Malley was in the chapel hearing 
vespers an the blessed eve o' St. John, whin, you see, 
whether it was that she was dhrowsy or tired afther 
the day's work, for she was all day teddin' the new 
cut grass, for 'twas haymakin' sayson ; or whether it 
was ordhered* and that it was all for the glory of 
God, and the repose of a throubled aowl, or how it 
was, it doesn't become me to say ; but howsomever, 
Mary fell asleep in the chapel, and sound enough she 
slep*, for never a wink she wakened antil every indi- 
vidhial craythur was gone, and the chapel doors was 
locked. Well, you may be sure it's poor Mary 
O'Malley was frekened, and thrimbled till she thought 
she'd ha' died on the spot, and sure no wondher, con- 
sidherin' she was locked up in a chapel all alone, and 
in the dark, and no one near her. 

" Well, afther a time, she recovered herself a little, 
and she thought there was no use in life in settin' 
up a phillelew, sthrivin' to make herself heerd ; for 
she knew well no livin' sowl was within call, and so, 
on a little considheration, whin she got over the first 
fright at being left alone that-a-way, good thoughts 
kem into her head to comfort her, and sure she knew 
she was in God's own house, and that no bad sper't 
daar come there. So with that, she knelt down agin, 
and repated her credos, and pather-and-aves, over 
and over, antil she felt quite sure in the purtection of 
hiv'n, and then, wrappin' herself up in her cloak, she 
thought she might lie down and sthrive to sleep till 



* A reverential mode the Irish have of implyiag a dispenfiation ol 
providence. 



THE priest's ghost. 163 

mornin', whin — may the Lord keep us!" piously 
ejaculated the old woman, crossing herself most 
devoutly, " all of a suddint a light shined into the 
chapel as bright as the light of day, and with that, 
poor Mary, lookin' up, seen it was shinin' out of the 
door of the vesthry, and immediately, out walked, out 
of the vesthry, a priest, dhressed in black vestments, 
and going slowly up to the althar, he said, ' is there 
any one here to answer this mass ?' 

"^ Well, my dear, poor Mary thought the life 'id 
lave her, for she dhreaded the priest was not of this 
world, and she couldn't say a word ; and whin the 
priest ax'd three times was there no one there to 
answer the mass, and got no answer, he walked back 
again into the vesthry, and in a minit all was dark 
agin ; but before he wint, Mary thought he looked 
towards her, and she said she'd never forget the me- 
lancholy light of his eyes, and the look he gave her, 
quite pityful like ; and she said she never heerd be- 
fore nor since such a wondherful deep voice. 

" Well, Sir, the poor craythur, the minit the sper't 
was gone — for it was a sper't, God be good to us — 
that minit the craythur fainted dead away ; and so 
I suppose it was with her, from one faint into another, 
for she knew nothin' more about any thing antil she 
recovered and kem to herself in her mother's cabin, 
afther being brought home from the chapel next 
mornin' whin it was opened for mass, and she was 
found there. 

" I hear thin it was as good as a week before she 
could lave her bed, she was so overcome by the mor- 
tial terror she was in that blessed night, blessed as 



J 64 THE priest's ghost. 

it was, bein' the eve of a holy saint, and more by 
token, the manes of givin' repose to a throubled sper't; 
for you see whin Mary tould what she had seen and 
heerd to her clargy, his Riverince, midher God, was 
enlightened to see the maynin' of it all; and the 
maynin* was this, that he undherstood from hearin' of 
the priest appearin' in black vestments, that it was 
for to say mass for the dead that he kem there ; and 
so he supposed that the priest durin' his lifetime had 
forgot to say a mass for the dead that he was bound 
to say, and that his poor sowl couldn't have rest an til 
that mass was said; and that he must walk antil the 
duty was done. 

'' So Mary's clargy said to her, that as the know- 
ledge of this was made through her, and as his Ri- 
verince said she was chosen, he ax'd her would she 
go and keep another vigil in the chapel, as his River- 
ince said— and thrue for him — for the repose of a sowl. 
So Mary bein' a stout girl, and always good, and re- 
lyin' on doin' what she thought was her duty in the 
eyes of God, she said she'd watch another night, but 
hoped she wouldn't be ax'd to stay long in the chapel 
alone. So the priest tould her 'twould do if she was 
there a little afore twelve o'clock at night ; for you 
know. Sir, that people never appears antil afther 
twelve, and from that till cock-crow ; and so, accord- 
ingly, Mary wint, an the night of a vigil, and, before 
twelve, down she knelt in the chapel, and began a 
countin' of her beads, and the craythur, she thought 
every minit was an hour antil she'd be relaysed. 

"Well, she wasn't kep' long; for saon the dazzlin' 
light burst from out of the vestry door, and the same 



THE priest's ghost. 165 

priest kem out that appeared afore, and in the same 
melancholy voice he ax'd when he mounted the althar, 
*is there any one here to answer this mass?' 

" "^Fell, poor Mary sthruv to spake, but the cray- 
thur thought her heart was up in her mouth, and not 
a word could she say, and agin the word was ax'd 
from the althar, and still she couldn't say a word ; but 
the sweat ran down her forehead as thick as the win- 
ther's rain, and immediately she felt relieved, and 
the impression was taken aff her heart, like ; and so, 
whin for the third and last time the appearance said, 
^ Is there no one here to answer this mass ?' poor 
Mary mutthered out, ^ yis,* as well as she could. 

" Oh, often I heerd her say the beautiful sight it 
was to see the lovely smile upon the face of the sper't, 
as he turned round, and looked kindly upon her, 
saying these remarkable words — 'It's twenty years,' 
says he, ' I have been askin' that question, and no 
one answered till this blessed night, and a blessin' be 
on her that answered, and now my business on earth 
is finished ; and with that, he vanished, before you 
could shut your eyes. 

" So never say. Sir, it's no good praying for the 
dead ; for you see that even the sowl of a priest 
couldn't have pace, for forgettin' so holy a thing as 
a mass for the sowl of the faithful departed." 



NEW POTATOES, 

AN IRISH MELODY. 



" Great cry and little wool." 

Old Sayings 

In the merry month of June, or thereabouts, the 
aforesaid melody may be heard, in all the wailing in- 
tonation of its minor third, through every street of 
Dublin. 

We Irish, are conversational, the lower orders 
particularly so ; and the hawkers, who frequent the 
streets, often fill the lapses that occur between their 
cries, by a current conversation with some passing 
friend, occasionally broken by the deponent " labour- 
ing in her calling," and yelling out, '' Brave lemons," 
or " Green pays" in some awkward interval, fre- 
quently productive of very ludicrous effects. 

Such was the case, as I happened to overhear a 
conversation between Katty, a black-eyed dealer in 
'*^New pittayatees !'' and her friend Sally, who had 
"Fine fresh Dublin-bay herrings!"^ to dispose of. 
Sally, to do her justice, was a very patient hearer, 



MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 167 

and did not interrupt her friend with her own cry in 
the least ; whether it was, from being interested in 
her friend's little misfortunes, or that Katty was one 
of those "out-and-outers" in story-telling, who, 
when once they begin, will never leave off, nor even 
allow another to edge in a word, as " thin as a six- 
pence," I will not pretend to say ; but certain it is, 
Katty, in the course of her history, had it all her own 
way, like " a bull in a chaynee shop," as she would 
have said herself. 

Such is the manner in which the following sketch 
from nature came into my possession. That it is 
altogether slang, I premise ; and give all fastidious 
persons fair warning, that if a picture from low life 
be not according to their taste, they can leave it un- 
read, rather than blame me for too much fidelity in 
my outline. So here goes at a scena, as the Italians 
say. 



"MY NEW PITTAYATEES!" 

Enter Katty, with a gray cloak, a dirty cap, and a black 
eye ; a sieve of potatoes on her head, and a *' thrifle o' 
sper'ts" in it. Katty meanders down Patrick-street. 

Katty. — ^' My new Pittayatees ! — My~a-new Pit' 

tayatees ! — My new " 

(Meeting a friend.) 
Sally, darlin', is that you ? 

Sally. — Throth it's myself; and what's the matther 
wid you, Katty ? 



]68 3^Y NEW PITTAYATEES. 

Kat. — 'Deed my heart's bruk cryiii' '' New jnt- 

tayatees" cryin' afther that vagabone. 

Sal.— Is it Mike ? 

Kat. — Throth it's himself indeed. 

Sal. — And what is it he done ? 

Kat. — Och ! he ruined me with his '' New pit- 

tayatees" with his goins-an — the owld thing, my 

dear — 

Sal, — Throwin' up his little finger, I suppose?* 

Xat. — Yis, my darlint : he kem home th' other 

night, blazin' blind dhrunk, cryin' out " New pit- 

tay-a-tees I" roarin' and bawlin', that you'd think 

he'd rise the roof aff o' the house. 

'' Bad look attind you ; bad cess to you, you pot- 
wallopin' varmint," says he, (maynin' me, i' you 
plaze) ; " wait till I ketch you, you sthrap, and it's 

I'll give you your fill iv" ' New pittayatees !' 

" your fill iv a lickin', if ever you got it," says he. 

So with that, I knew the villian was mulvather- 
ed ;t let alone the heavy fut o' the miscrayint an the 

stairs, that a child might know he was done for 

" My new pittayatees /" Throth he was done to a 

turn, like a mutton kidney. 

^a^.— Musha ! God help you, Katty. 

Xat. — Oh, wait till you hear the ind o' my 

" New pittayatees /" o' my throubles, and it's then 

you'll open your eyes " My new pittayatees !" 

Sal.— Oh, bud I pity you. 

Kat.— Oh. wait— wait, my jewel— wait till you hear 
what became o' " My new pittayatees .'" wait 

• Getting drunk. t Intoxicated. 



MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 169 

till I tell you the ind iv it. "Wliere did I lave afF? 
Oh aye, at the stairs. 

Well, as he was comin' up stairs, (knowin' how 

it 'id be,) I thought it best to take care o' my 

"New pittayatees !" to take care o' myself; so 

with that, I put the bowlt on the door, betune me 
and danger, and kep' listenin' at the key-hole ; and 

sure enough, what should I hear, but " New pit 

tayatees !" but the vagabone gropin' his way 

round the cruked turn in the stair, and tumblin' 
afther, into the hole in the flure an the landin' ; and 
whin he come to himself, he gev a thunderin' thump 

at the door. " Who's there ?" says I : says he 

" New pittayatees !' "let me in," says he, " you 

vagabone," (swarein' by what I wouldn't mhition,) 
or by this and that, " I'll massacray you," says he, 
" withhi an inch o' " A^ew pittayatees !" with- 
in an inch o' your life," says he. 

" Mikee, darlint," says I, sootherin' him. 

Sal. — Why would you call sitch a 'tarnal vagabone, 
darlint } 

Kat. — My jew'l, didn't I tell you I thought it best 

to soother him with a ''New pittayatee !" 

with a tindher word : so says I, " Mikee, you vil- 
lain, you're disguised," says I, " you're disguised, 
dear." 

*' You lie," says he, " you impident sthrap, I'm 
not disguised ; but, if I'm disguised itself," says he, 
" I'll make you know the differ," says he. 

Oh! I thought the life id lave me, when I heerd 
him «ay the word; and with that I put my hand 

an-——" My new pittayatees !" an the latch o' the 

I 



170 MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 

door, to purvint it from slippin' ; and he iips and 
he gives a wicked kick at the door, and says he, 
" If you don't let me in this minit," says he, '^ I'll 

be the death o' your-^ ^' New pittayatees !" o' 

yourself and your dirty breed," says he. Think o' 
that, Sally, dear, t' abuse my relations. 

Sal— Oh, the ruffin ! 

Kat. — Dirty breed, indeed ! By my sowkins, they're 
as good as his any day in the year, and was never 

behoulden to "New pittayatees!" to go a* 

beggin' to the mindicity for their dirty " New pit^ 

tayatees !" their dirty washin's o' pots, and sar- 

vants' lavins, and dogs' bones, all as one as that 
cruck'd disciple of his mother's cousin's sisther, the 
ould dhrunken asperseand, as she is. 

*S'a/.— No, in troth, Katty dear. 

Xat. — Well, where was I ? Oh, aye, I left off at 

" New pittayatees !" 1 left off at my dirty 

breed. Well, at the word "dirty breed," I knew 
full well the bad dhrop was up in him, and faith it's 
soon and suddirxt he made me sinsible av it, for the 

first word he said was " A^ew pittayatees !" 

the first word he said was to put his shouldher to the 
door, and in he bursted the door, fallin' down in the 

middle o' the flure, cryin' out " New pittayatees !" 

cryin' out, "bad luck attind you," says he; 

"howdaryou refuse to lit me into my own house^ 
you sthi-ap," says he, " agin the law o' the land,' 
says he, scramblin' up on his pins agin, as well as 
he could ; and, as he was risin', says I " New pit- 
tayatees !" says I to him, (screeching out loud. 



MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 171 

that the neighbours in the flure below might hear 
me,) ^' Mikee, my darlint/' says I. 

" Keep the pace, you vagaborie/' says he ; and 

with that, he hits me a lick av a " New pittaya- 

tee !" a lick av a stick he had in his hand, and 

down I fell, (and small blame to me,) down I fell an 

the flure, cryin' ^' New pittayatees !" cryin'out 

" Murther ! murther \" 

Sal. — Oh, the hangin'-bone villian ! 

Kat. — Oh, that's not all ! As I was risin*, my 
jew'l, he was goin' to strek me agin ; and with that, 

I cried out '' New pittayatees !" 1 cried out, 

'^ Fair play, Mikee," says I ; " don't sthrek a man 
down ;" but he wouldn't listen to ray son, and was 
goin' to hit me agin, whin I put up the child that was 
in my arms betune me and harm. "Look at your 
babby, Mikee," says I. " How do I know that, you 
flag-hoppin' jade," says he, (Think o' that, Sally, 
jew'l — misdoubtin' my vartue, and I an honest wo- 
man, as I am. God help me ! ! !) 

Sal. — Oh ! bud you're to be pitied, Katty, dear. 

Kat. — Well, puttin' up the child betune me and 
harm, as he was risin' his hand — " Oh !" says I, 
" Mikee, darlint, don't sthrek the babby ;" but, my 
dear, before the word was out o' my mouth, he 
sthruk the babby. (I thought the life 'id lave me.) 
And, iv coorse, the poor babby, that ntver spuk a 

work, began to cry " New pittayatees !" began 

to cry, and roar, and bawl, and no wondher. 

Sal. — Oh, the haythen, to go sthrek the child. 
Kat. — And, my jewel, the neighbours in the flure 

i2 



172 MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 

belowj hearin' the skrimmage, kem runnin' up the 

stairSj cry in' out '' New pittayatees !'' cryin' 

out, " Watch, watch. Mikee M^Evoy,'' says they, 
" would you murthur your wife, you villian ?" 
"What's that to you," says he; "isn't she my own," 
says he, " and if 1 plase to make her feel the weight 

o' my ^' New pittayatees!" the weight o' my 

fist, what's that to you," says he ; " it's none o' your 
business any how, so keep your tongue in your jaw, 
and your toe in your pump, and 'twill be betther for 

your " New pittayafees !" 'twill be betther for 

your health, I'm thinkin*," says he ; and with that 
he looked cruked at thim, and squared up to one o' 
thim — (a poor definceless craythur, a tailor.) 

" Would you fight your match," says the poor in- 
nocent man. 

" Lave my sight," says Mick, " or, by Jingo, I'll 
put a stitch in your side, my jolly tailor,'' says he. 

" Yiv put a stitch in your wig already," says the 
tailor, ^' and that'll do for the present writin'." 

And with that, Mikee was goin' to hit him with a 

''New pittayatee ! '* a lift-hander; but he 

was cotch howld iv before he could let go his blow ; 

and who should stand up forninst him, but " My 

new pittayatees ! '' but the tailor's wife ; (and, by 

my sowl, it's she that's the sthrapper, and more's the 
pity she's thrown away upon one o' the sort ;) and 
says she, " let me at' him," says she, " Its I that's 
used to giv a man a lickin' every day in the week ; 
you're bowld an the head now, you Vagabone," says 
she; but if I had you alone," says she, "nomatther 



MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 173 

if I wouldn't take the consait out o' your '^ New 

pittayatees !" out o' your braggin' heart;" and 

that's the way she wint an ballyraggin' \nm ; and, 
by gor, they all tuk pattheni afther her, and abused 
him, my dear, to that degree, that, I vow to the Lord, 
the very dogs in the sthreet wouldn't lick his blood. 

Sal. — Oh, my blessin' an them. 

^a^.— And with that, one and all, they began to 

cry ''New pittayatees !"— — they began to cry 

him down ; and, at last, they all swore out, " Hell's 
bells attind your berrin'," says they, '' you vaga- 
bone," as they just tuk him up by the scuff o' the 
neck, and threwn him down the stairs: every step 
he'd take, you'd think he'd brake his neck, (Glory be 
to God!) and so I got rid o' the ruffin; and then 
they left me, cryin' " New pittayatees !" cry- 
in' afther the vagabone; though the angels knows 
well he wasn't desarvin' o' one precious dhrop that 
fell from my two good-lookin' eyes — and, oh ! but 
the condition he left me in. 

Sal. — Lord look down an you. 

Kat. — And a purty sight it id be, if you could see 

how I was lyin' in the middle o' the flure cryin' 

" New pittayatees !^' cryin' and roarin'j and the 

poor child, with his eye knocked out, in the corner, 

cryin' " New pittayatees !'' and, indeed, every 

one in the place was cryin' ''New pittayatees! 

was cryin' murther. 

Sal. — And no wondher, Katty dear. 

Kat. — Oh bud that's not all. If you seen the con- 
dition the place was in afther it; it was turned 



174 MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 

upside down like a beggar's breeches. Throth I'd 
rather be at a bull bait than at it, enough to make an 

honest woman cry New pittayatees T^ to see 

the day cent room rack'd and ruin'd, and my cap tore 
aff my head into tatthers, throth you might riddle 
bull dogs through it ; and, bad luck to the hap'orth he 

left me but a few "New pittayafees T' a few 

coppers, for the morodin' thief spint all his "New 

pittayatees r > all his wages o' the whole week in 

makin' a baste iv himself; and God knows but that 
comes aisy to him ! and divil a thhig I had to put 
inside my face, nor a dhrop to dhrink, barrin' a few 

"New pittayatees r"* a few grains o' tay, and 

the ind iv a quarther o* sugar, and my eye as big 
as your fist, and as black as the pot, (savin' your 

presence,) and a beautiful dish iv " New pittaya^ 

tees!'' dish iv delf, that I bought only last week 

in Timple Bar, bruk in three halves, in the middle o' 
the ruction, — and the rint o' the room not ped, — and I 
dipindin' only an " New pittayatees /" an' cry- 
in' a sieve-full o' pratees, or screeehin' a lock o' sa- 
voys, or the like. 

But I'll not brake your heart any more, Sally dear ; 
— God's good, and never opens one door, but he shuts 
another;— and that's the wayivit; — an' strinthins 

the wake with " New pittayatees /'' with his 

purtection; and may the widdy and the orphin's 
blessin' be an his name, I pray ! — And my thrust 
is in divine providence, that was always good to 
me, and sure I don't despair; but not a night that I 
kneel down to say my prayers, that I don't pray few: 



MY NEW PITTAYATEES. 175 

"New pittayatees I'* for all manner o' bad 

luck to attind that vagabone, Mikee M^Evoy. My 
curse light an him this blessid minit ; and 

[^A voice at a distance calls, " Potatoes /"^ 

Kat. — Who calls? — f Perceives her customer. J — 
Here, Ma'am. Good-bye, Sally, darlint — good-bye« 
" New pittay-a-tees /'' 

[^Exit Katty by the Cross Poddle.^ 



PADDY THE SPORT. 



" My lord made himself much sport out of him : by his authority he 
lemains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness." 

" He will lie, Sir, with such volubility, that you would think truth 
were a fool. — Drunkenness is his best virtue." 

JiPs well that ends well. 



During a sojourn of some days in the county 

visiting a friend, who was anxious to afford as much 
amusement to his guests as country sports could fur- 
nish, " the dog and the gun" were, of course, put 
into requisition ; and the subject of this sketch was a 
constant attendant on the shooting party. 

He was a tall, loose-made, middle-aged man, rather 
on the elder side of middle age perhaps — fond of wear- 
ing an oil-skinned hat and a red waistcoat — much 
giving to lying and tobacco, and an admirable hand 
at filling a game-bag, or emptying a whiskey-flask ; 
and if game was scarce in the stubbles, Paddy was 
sure to create plenty of another -sort for his master's 
party, by the marvellous stories he had ever at his 
command. Such was *' Paddy the Sport," as the 
country people invariably called him. 

Paddy was fond of dealing in mystification, which 
he practised often on the peasants, whom he looked 
upon as an inferior class of beings to himself— consi- 



PADDY THE SPORT. 177 

dering that his office of sportsman conferred a rank 
upon him that placed him considerably above them^ 
to say nothing of the respect that was due to one so 
adroit in the use of the gun as himself ; and, by the 
way, it was quite a scene to watch the air of self- 
complacency that Paddy, after letting fly both bar- 
rels into a covey, and dropping his brace of birds as 
dead as a stone, quietly let down the piece from his 
shoulder, and commenced reloading, looking about 
him the while with an admirable carelessness, and 
when his piece was ready for action again, returning 
his ramrod with the air of a master, and then, throw- 
ing the gun into the hollow of his arm, walk forward 
to the spot where the birds were lying, and pick them 
up in the most business-like manner. 

But to return to Paddy's love of mystification. 
One day I accompanied him, or perhaps it would be 
fitter to say, he acted as guide, in leading me across 
a country to a particular point, where I wanted to 
make a sketch. His dogs and gun, of course, bore 
him company, though I was only armed with my 
portfolio; and we beat across the fields, merrily 
enough until the day became overcast, and a heavy 
squall of wind and rain forced us to seek shelter 
in the first cottage we arrived at. Here the good 
woman's apron was employed in an instant in dusting 
a three-legged stool to offer to "the gintlemen," 
and " Paddy the Sport" was hailed Avith welcome 
by every one in the house, with whom he entered 
into conversation in his usual strain of banter and 
mystification. 

I 3 



^78 PADDY THE SPORT. 

I listened for some time to the passing discourse ; 
but the bad weather still continuing-, I began amus- 
ing myself until it should clear, in making an outline 
of a group of dogs that were stretched on the floor 
of the cabin, in a small green-covered sketching-book 
that I generally carry about me, for less important 
memoranda. This soon caused a profound silence 
around me ; the silence was succeeded by a broken 
whispering, and Mr. Paddy, at last, approaching me 
with a timidity of manner I could not account for, 
said, " Sure, Sir, it wouldn't be worth your while to 
mind puttin' down the pup?" pointing to one that 
had approached the group of dogs, and had com- 
menced his awkward gambols with his seniors. 

I told him I considered the pup as the most de- 
sirable thing to notice ; but scarcely were the words 
uttered, until the old woman cried out, " Terry, take 
that cur out o' that — I'm sure I don't know what 
brings all the dogs here," and Terry caught up the 
pup in his arms, and was running away with him, 
when I called after him to stop ; but 'twas in vain. 
He ran like a hare from me ; and the old lady, seiz- 
ing a branch of a furze-bush from a heap of them 
that were stowed beside the chimney-corner for fuel, 
made an onset on the dogs, and drove them, yelping, 
from the house. 

I was astonished at this, and perceived that the air 
of every one in the cottage was altered towards me ; 
and, instead of the civility which had saluted my en- 
trance, estranged looks, or direct ones of no friendly 
character, were too evident. I was about to inquire 
the cause, v/hen Paddy the Sport, going to the door. 



PADDY THE SPORT. 179 

and casting a weather-wise look abroad, said, "" I 
think. Sir, we may as well be goin' — and indeed the 
day's clearin' up fine, afther all, and 'ill be beautiful 
yit. Good-bye to you, Mrs. Flannerty," — and off 
went Paddy, and I followed immediately, having ex-r 
pressed my thanks to the aforesaid Mrs. Flannerty, 
making my most engaging adieu, which, however, 
was scarcely returned. 

On coming up with my conductor, I questioned 
him, touching what the cause might be of the strange 
alteration in the manner of the cottagers, but all his 
answers were unsatisfactory or evasive. 

We pursued our course to the point of destination. 
The day cleared, as was prophesied — Paddy killed 
his game — 1 made my sketch — and we bent our 
course homeward as evening was closing. After 
proceeding for a mile or two, 1 pointed to a tree in 
the distance, and asked Paddy what very large bird 
it could be that was sitting in it. 

After looking sharply for some time, he said, " It a 
bird, is it ? throth it's a bird that never flew yit." 

"What is it, then ?" said I. 

" It's a dog that's hanghi*," said he. 

And he was right — for as we approached, it be- 
came more evident every moment. But my surprise 
was excited, when, having scarcely passed the sus- 
pended dog, another tree rose upon our view, in ad- 
vance, decorated by a pendant brace of the same 
breed. 

•'By the powers ! there's two more o' thim," shout- 
ed Paddy. "Why, at this rate, they've had more 
sportin' nor myself," said he. And I could see an 



180 PADDY THE SPORT. 

expression of mischievous delight playing over the 
features of Mr. Paddy, as he uttered the sentence. 

As we proceeded, we perceived almost every se- 
cond bush had been converted into a gallows for the 
canine race ; and I could not help remarking to my 
companion, that we were certainly in a very hang- 
dog country. 

" Throth thin, you may thank yourself for it," said 
he, laughing outright ; for up to this period his mirth, 
though increasing at every fresh execution he per- 
ceived, had been smothered. 

"Thank myself!" said I— "how?" 

" By my sowl, you frekened the whole country this 
mornin','' said he, "with that little green book o' 
yours " 

" Is it my sketch-book?" said I. 

" By gor, all the people thought it was a ketch- 
hook, sure enough, and that you wor goin' round the 
counthry, to ketch all the dogs in it, and make thim 
pay " 

" What do you mean ?" said I. 

" Is it what I mane you want to know. Sir? throth 
thin, I don't know how I can tell it to a gintleman, 
at all, at all." 

"Oh, you may tell me." 

" By gor. Sir, 1 wouldn't like offindin' your honor ; 
but you see, (since you must know. Sir,) that whin 
you tuk that little green book out iv your pocket, 
they tuk you for — savin' your presence — by gor, I 
don't like tellin' you." 

*' Tut, nonsense, man," said I. 

" Well, Sir, (since you must know,) by dad, they 



FADDY THE SPORT. 181 

tuk you — I beg your honor's pardon — but, by dad, 
they tuk you for a tax-gatherer." 
" A tax-gatherer I" 

" Divil a lie in it ; and whin they seen you takhi' 
off the dogs, they thought it was to count thim, 
for to make thim pay for thim ; and so, by dad, they 
thought it best, I suppose, to hang them out o' the 
way." 

" Ha ! Paddy,'' said I, " 1 see this is a piece of 
your knavery, to bewilder the poor people." 

" Is it me ?" says Paddy, with a look of assumed 
innocence, that avowed, in the most provoking man- 
ner, the inward triumph of Paddy in his own hoax. 

" 'Twas too much, Paddy,'' said 1, " to practise 
so far on innocent people." 

" Innocent !" said Paddy. " They're just about as 
innocent as a coal o' fire in a bag o' flax." 
" And the poor animals, too !" said I. 
" Is it the blackguard curs ?" said Paddy, in the 
most sportmanlike wonder, at my commiserating any 
but a spaniel or a pointer. 

" Throth, thin, Sir, to tell you thruth, I let thim 
go an in their mistake, and I seen all along how 
't would be, and 'pon my conscience, but a happy 
riddance the counthry will have of sitch riff-raff var- 
mant of cabin curs. Why, Sir, the mangy mongrels 
goes about airly in the sayson, moroding through the 
corn, and murthers the young birds, and does not let 
thim come to their full time, to be killed in their 
nath'ral way, and ruinin' gintlemen's sport, into the 
bargain, and sure hangin' is all that's good for thim." 
So much for Paddy's mystifying powers. Of this? 



182 PADDY THE SPORT. 

coup he was not a little vain, and many a laugh he 
has made at my expense afterwards, by telling the 
story of the " painter gintleman that was mistuk for 
a tax-gatherer." 

Paddy being a professed story-teller, and a noto- 
rious liar, it may be naturally inferred that he dealt 
largely in fairy tales and ghost stories. Talking of 
fairies one day, for the purpose of exciting him to say 
something of them, I inquired if there were many 
fairies in that part of the country ? 

" Ah ! no. Sir !" said he, with the air of a sorrow- 
ing patriot — " not now. There was wanst a power 
o' fairies used to keep about the place ; but sence the 
rale quol'ty — the good old families has left it, and the 
upstarts has kem into it — the fairies has quitted it all 
out, and wouldn't stay here, but is gone farther back 
into Connaught, where the ould blood is." 

" But 1 dare say you have seen them sometimes ?" 
" No, indeed. Sir. I never saw them, barrin' wanst, 
and that was whin I was a boy, but I heerd them 
often." 

" How did you know it was fairies you heard ?" 
" Oh what else could it be ; sure it was crossin' out 
over a road I was in the time o' the ruction, and 
heerd full a thousand men marchin' down the road, 
and by dad I lay down in the gripe o' the ditch, not 
wishin' to be seen, nor likin' to be throublesome to 
them ; and I watched who they wor, and was peepin' 
out iv a tuft o' rishes, when what should I see but 
nothin' at all, to all appearance, but the thrampin' o' 
min, and a clashin*, and a jinglin', that you'd think 
the infanthry, and yeoraanthry, and cavalthry was in 



FADDY THE SPORT. 183 

it, and not a sight iv any thing to be seen, but the 
brightest o' moonlight that ever kem out o' the 
hivins." 

" And that ^\'as all ?" 

"Divil a more; and by dad 'twas more nor I'd 
like to see or to hear agin." 
^ " But you never absolutely saw any fairies ?" 

''Why, indeed. Sir, to say that I seen thim, that is 
with my own eyes, wouldn't be thrue, barrin' wanst, 
as I said before, and that's many a long day ago, 
whin I was a boy, and I and another chap was 
watchin' turf in a bog ; and whin the night was 
fallin', and we wor goin' home, ' What would you 
think,' says I, ' Charley, if we wor to go home by 
owld Shaughnessy's field, and stale o' shafe o' pays ?' 
So he agreed, and off we wint to stale the pays ; but 
whin we got over the fince, and was creepin' along 
the furrows for fear of bein' seen, I heerd some one 
runnin' afther me, and I thought we wor cotch, my- 
self and the boy, and I turned round, and with that 
I seen two girls dhressed in white, throth I never 
seen sitch white in my born days, they wor as white 
as the blown snow, and runnin' like the wind, and 1 
knew at wanst they wor fairies, and I threw myself 
down an my face, and by dad I was afeard to look 
up for nigh half an hour." 

I inquired of him what sort of faces these fine girls 
had. 

"Oh, the divil a stim o' their faytures I could see, 
for the minit I clapt my eyes an thim, knowin' they 
wor fairies, I fell down, and darn't look at them 
tvvicet." 



184 



PADDY THE SPORT. 



'' It was a pity you did not remark them/' said I. 

*' And do you think it's a fool I am, to look twicet 
at a fairy, and maybe have my eyes whipt out iv my 
head, or turned into stones, or stone blind, which is 
all as one." 

"Then you can scarcely say you saw them,'' says I. 

" Oh, by dad I can say I seen thim, and sware it 
for that matther ; at laste, there was somethin' I seen 
as white as the blown snow." 

" Maybe they were ghosts and not fairies," said I ; 
'' ghosts, they say, are always seen in white." 

*' Oh, by all that's good, they warn't ghosts, and 
that I know full well, for I know the differ between 
ghosts and fairies." 

" You have had experience then in both, 1 suppose." 

" Faixs you may say that. Oh I had a wonderful 
great appearance wonst that kem to me, or at laste to 
the house where I was, for, to be sure, it wasn't to 
me it kem, why should it ? But it was whin I was 
livin' at the lord's in the next county, before I kem 
to live with his honour here, thai I saw the appear- 
ance." 

" In what shape did it come.''" 

" Throth thin I can't well tell you what shape, for 
you see whin I heerd it comin' I put my head undher 
the clothes, and never looked up, nor opened my 
eyes, until I heerd it was gone." 

" But how do you know then it was a ghost ?" 

" Oh, sure all the counthry knew the house was 
throubled, and, indeed, that was the rayson I had for 
lavin' it, for whin my lord turned me off, he was ex- 
pectin' that I'd ax to be tuk back agin, and faith 



PADDY THE SPORT. 185 

sorry he was, I go bail, that I didn't ; but I wouldn't 
stay in the place, and it hanted." 

" Then it was haunted !" 

" To be sure it was ; sure I tell you, Sir, the sper't 
kem to me." 

'' Well, Paddy, that was only civil — returning a 
visit ; for I know you are fond of going to the spirits 
occasionally." 

" Musha, bud your honor is always jokin' me about 
the dhrop. Oh, bud faith the sper't came to me, and 
whin I hid my head undher the clothes, sure didn't I 
feel the sper't sthrivin' to pull them affo' me. But 
wait and I'll tell you how it was : — You see, myself 
and another sarvant was sleepin* in one room, and by 
the same token, a thievin' rogue he was, the same 
sarvant, and I heerd a step comin' down the stairs, 
and they wor stone stairs, and the latch was riz, but 
the door was locked, for I turned the key in it my- 
self; and when the sper't seen the latch was fast, by 
dad the key was turned in the door, (though it was 
inside, av coorse,) and the sper't walked in, and I 
heerd the appearance walkin' about the place, and it 
kem and shuk me ; but, as I tould you, I shut my 
eyes, and rowled my head up in the clothes ; well, 
with that, it went and raked the fire, (for I suppose it 
was could,) but the fire was a'most gone out, and 
with that, it wint to the turf-bucket to see if there 
was any sods there to throw an the fire, but not a 
sod there was left, for we wor sittin' up late indeed, 
(it bein' the young lord's birth-day, and we wor 
drinkin' his health,) and when it couldn't find any 
turf in the bucket, bad cess to me but it begun to 



186 PADDY THE SPORT. 

kick the buckets up and down the room for spite, and 
divil sitch a clatter I ever heerd as the sper't made, 
kickin' the turf-bucket like a foot-ball round the 
place ; and when it was tired plazin' itself that-a-way, 
the appearance kem and shuk me agin, and I roared 
and bawled at last, and thin away it wint, and 
slammed the door afther it, that you'd think it id pull 
the house down." 

" I'm afraid, Paddy," said I, " that this was no- 
thing more than a troublesome dream." 

" Is it a dhrame, your honor ? That a dhrame } 
By my sowl, that id be a quare dhrame ! Oh, in 
throth it was no dhrame it was, but an appearance ; 
but indeed aftlver, I often thought it was an appear- 
ance for death, for the young lord never lived to see 
another birth-day. Oh, you may look at me. Sir, 
but it's thruth. Aye, and I'll tell you what's more : 
the young lord, the last time I seen him out, was one 
day he was huntin', and he came in from the stables, 
through the back yard, and passed through that very 
room to go up by the back stairs, and as he wint in 
through that very door, that the appearance slam- 
med afther it — what would you think, but he 
slammed the door afther him the very same way ; 
and indeed I thrimbled whin I thought iv it. He 
was in a hurry, to be sure ; but — I think there was 
some maynin* in it." And Paddy looked mysteri- 
ous. 

After the foregoing satisfactory manner in which 
Paddy showed so clearly that he understood the dif- 
ference between a ghost and a fairy, he proceeded to 
enlighten me with the further distinction of a spirit. 



PADDY THE SPORT. 187 

from either of them. This was so very abstruse, 
that I shall not attempt to take the elucidation of the 
point out of Paddy's own hands ; and should you, 
gentle reader, ever have the good fortune to make his 
acquaintance, Paddy, I have no doubt, will clear up 
the matter as fully and clearly to your satisfaction, as 
he did to mine. But 1 must allow Paddy to proceed 
in his own way. 

" Well, Sir, before I go an to show you the differ 
betune the fairies and sper'ts, I must tell you about 
a mighty quare trick the fairies was goin' to play at 
the lord's house, where the appearance kem to me, 
only that the nurse (and she was an aunt o' my own) 
had the good luck to baulk thim. You see the way 
it was, was this. The child was a man-child, and 
it was the first boy was in the fam'ly for many a long 
day ; for they say there was a prophecy standin' agin 
the fam'ly, that there should be no son to inherit ; but 
at last there was a boy, and a lovely fine babby it 
was, as you'd see in a summer's day ; and so, one 
evenin', that the fam'ly, my lord, and my lady, and 
all o' thim, was gone out, and gev the nurse all sorts 
o' charges about takin' care o' the child, she was not 
long alone, whin the house-keeper kem to her, and 
ax'd her to come down stairs where she had a party, 
and they expected to be mighty pleasant, and was to 
have great goins an ; and so the nurse said she didn't 
like lavin' the child, and all to that, but howsomever, 
she was beguiled into the thing ; and so she said, at 
last, that as soon as she left the child out iv her lap, 
where she was hushing it to sleep forninst the fire^ 



188 PADDY THE SPORT. 

that she'd go down to the rest o' the sarvants, and 
take share o' what was goin'. 

" Well, at last, the child was fast asleep, and the 
nurse laid it an the bed, as careful as if it was gooldeii 
diamonds, and tucked the curtains roun' about the 
bed, and made it as safe as Newgate, and thin she 
wint down, and joined the divarshin, — and merry 
enough they wor a playing iv cards, and dhrinkin' 
punch, and dancin' — and the like o' that. 

" But I must tell you, that before she wint down 
at all, she left one o' the housemaids to stay in the 
room, and charged her, on her apparel, not to lave 
the place until she kem back ; but for all that, her 
fears wouldn't let her be aisy ; and indeed it was 
powerful lucky that she had an inklin' o' what was 
goin' an. For, what id you think, but the black- 
guard iv a housemaid, as soon as she gets the nurse's 
back turned, she ups, and she goes to another party 
was in the sarvant's hall, wid the undher sarvants ; 
for whin the lord's back was turned, you see, the 
house was all as one as a play-house, fairly turned 
upside down. 

(( Well, as I said, the nurse (\mdher God) had an 
inklin' o' what was to be ; for though there was all 
sorts o' divarshin goin' an in the housekeeper's room, 
she could not keep the child out iv her head, and 
she thought she heerd the screeches av it ringin' 
in her ear every minit, although she knew full well 
she was far beyant where the cry o' the child could 
be heerd, but still the cry was as plain in her ear 
as the ear-ring she had in it; and so, at last, she 
grewn so onaisy about the child, that she was goin' 



PADDY THE SPORT. 189 

up stairs agin — but she was stopt by one, and another 
coaxed her, and another laughed at her, till at last 
she grew ashamed of doin' what was right, (and 
God knows, but many a one iv uz is laughed out o' 
doin' a right thing,) and so she sat down agin, but 
the cry in her ears wouldn't let her be aisy, and at 
last she tuk up her candle, and away she wint up 
stairs. 

"Well — afther passin* the two first flights, sure 
enough, she heerd the child a screechin', that id go 
to your heart ; and with that she hurried up so fast, 
that the candle a'most went out with the draught, 
and she run into the room, and wint up to the bed, 
callin' out, my lanna hawn, and all to that, to soother 
the child ; and pullin' open the bed-curtain to take 
the dirlin up — but, what would you think, not a sign 
o' the child was in the bed, good, bad, or indifferent ; 
and she thought the life id lave her ; for thin she was 
afeard the child dhropped out o' the bed, though she 
thought the curtains was tucked so fast and so close, 
that no accident could happen ; and so she run roimd 
to the other side to take the child up, (though indeed 
she was afeared she'd see it with its brahis dashed 
out,) and lo and behowld you, divil a taste av it was 
there, though she heerd it screechin', as if it was 
murtherin' : and so thin slie didn't know what in the 
wide world to do ; and she run rootin' into every 
corner o' the room, lookit' for it ; but, bad cess to 
the child she could find, whin, all iv a suddint, turn- 
in' her eyes to the bed agin, what did she percave, 
but the fut carpet that Avint round the bed, goin' by 
little and little undher it, as if some one was pullin' 



190 



PADDY THE SPORT. 



it; and so she made a dart at the carpet^, and cotch 
howld o' the ind iv it, and, with that, what should 
she see, but the babby lyin' in the middle o' the fut 
carpet, as it was dhrawin' down into the flure, 
undher the bed, and one half o' the babby was out o' 
sight already, undher the boords, whin the nurse seen 
it, and it screechin' like a sea-gull, and she laid howl 
iv it ; and faith, she often towP myself that she was 
obleeged to give a good sthrong pull before she could 
get the child from the fairies" 

" Then it was the fairies were taking the child 
away?" said I. 

"Who else would it be?" said Paddy; "sure the 
carpet wouldn't be runnin' undher the bed itself, if it 
wasn't pulled by the fairies ! — besides, I towl' you 
there was a prophecy stan'in' agin the male boys o' 
the lord's fam'ly." 

" I hope, however, that boy lived ?" 

" Oh yes. Sir, the charm was bruk that night ; for 
the other childher used to be tuk away always by 
the fairies ; and that night the child id have been tuk, 
only for the nurse, that was given (undher God) to 
undherstan' the screechin in her ears, and arrived be- 
times to ketch howlt o' the carpet, and baulk the 
fairies; for all knowledgable people I ever heerd, 
says, that if you baulk the fairies wanst, they 11 lave 
you alone evermore.' 

" Pray, did she see any of the fairies that were 
stealing the child?" 

" No, Sir ; the fairies doesn't love to be seen, and 
seldom at all you get a sight iv them; and that's 
the differ I was speakin' iv to you betune fairies and 



PADDY THE SFORT. 191 

sper'ts. Now, the sper'ts is always seen, in some 
shape or other ; and maybe it id be a bird, or a shafe 
o' corn, or a big stone, or a hape a' dung, or the like 
o' that, and never know 'twas a sper't at all, antil 
you wor made sinsible av it, some how or other ,* 
maybe it id be that you wor comin' home from a 
frind's house late at night, and you might fall down, 
and couldn't keep a leg undher you, and not know 
why, barrin' it was a sper't misled you — and maybe 
it's in a ditch you'd find yourself asleep in the mor- 
nin' when you woke/' 

"I dare say, Paddy, that same has happened to 
yourself before now ^" 

" Throth, and you may say that. Sir ; bnt the com- 
monest thing in life, is for a sper't for to take the 
shape iv a dog — which is a favourite shape with 
sper'ts — and, indeed, Tim Mooney, the mDler in the 
next town, was a'most frekened out iv his life by a 
sper't, that-a-wayj and he'd ha' been murthered, 
only he had the good loock to have a rale dog wid 
him — and a rale dog is the finest thing in the world 
agin sper'ts." 

" How do you account for that, Paddy ?" 

" Bekase, Sir, the dog's the most sinsible, and the 
bo widest baste, barrin' the cock, which is bowldher 
for his size nor any o' God's craythurs ; and so, whin 
the cock crows, all evil sper'ts vanishes; and the dog 
bein', as 1 said, bowld, and sinsible also, is mighty 
good ; besides, you couldn't make a cock your com- 
|>anion — it wouldn't be nath'ral to rayson, you know 
— and therefore a dog is the finest thing in the world 
for a. man to have wid him in throublesome places: 



192 PADDY THE SPORT; 

but I must tell you, that though sper'ts dhreads a 
dog, a fairy doesn't mind him — for I have heerd o' 
fairies ridin' a dog, all as one as a monkey — and a 
lanthern also is good, for the sper't o' darkness 
dhreads the light. But this is not tellin' you about 
]Mooney the miller : — he was comin' home, you see, 
from a neighbour's, and had to pass by a rath; and 
when he just kem to the rath, his dog that was wid 
him (and a brave dog he was, by the same token) 
began to growl, and gev a low bark ; and with that, 
the miller seen a great big baste of a black dog com- 
in' up to thim, and walks a one side av him, all as 
one as if he was his masther : with that Mooney's 
own dog growled agin, and runs betune his masther's 
legs, and there he staid walkin' on wid him, for to 
purtect him ; and the miller was frekened a'most out 
iv his life, and his hair stood up sthrait an his head, 
that he was obleeged to put his hand up to his hat, 
and shove it down an his head, and three times it was 
that way, that his hair was risin' the hat afF his head 
wid the fright, and he was obleeged to howld it down 
and his dog growlin' all the time, and the black 
thief iv a dog keepin' dodgin' him along, and his eyes 
like coals o' fire, and the terriblest smell of sulphur, 
I hear, that could be, all the time, till at last they 
came to a little sthrame that divided the road ; and 
there, my dear, the sper't disappeared, not bein' able 
to pass runnin' wather ; for sper'ts. Sir, is always 
waken'd with wather." 

"That I believe," said I, "but, I think, Paddy, 
you seldom put spirits to so severe a. trial." 

" Ah thin, but, your honor will you never give 



PADDY THE SPORT. 193 

ever jeerin' me about the dhrop. But, in throth, 
what I'm tellm' you is thrue about it — rumiin wather 
desthroys sper'ts. 

" Indeed, Paddy, I know that is your opinion." 

^' Oh ! murther, murther ! — there I made a slip 
agin, and never seen it till your honor had the ad- 
vantage o' me. Well, no matther : it's good any way ; 
but indeed, I think it has so good a good name iv 
its own, that it's a pity to spile it, baptizin' it any 
more." 

Such were the marvellous yams that Paddy was 
constantly spinning. Indeed he had a pride, I rather 
think, in being considered equally expert at ^'the 
long bow " as at the rifle ; and if he had not a 
bouncer to astonish his hearers with, he endeavoured 
that his ordinary strain of conversation, or his answer 
to the commonest question, should be of a nature to 
surprise them. Such was his reply one morning to 
his master, when he asked Paddy what was the 
cause of his being so hoarse. 

" Indeed, Sir," answered Paddy, " it's a could I 
got, and indeed myself doesn't know how I cotch 
could, barrin' that I slep' in a field last night, and 
forgot to shut the gate afther me." 

" Ah, Paddy," said the squire, " the old story — you 
were drunk, as usual, and couldn't find your way 
home. You are a shocking fellow, and you'll never 
get on, as long as you give yourself up to whiskey." 

'' ^Vhy thin, your honor, sure that's the rayson I 
ought to get an the fasther ; for isn't a ' spur in the 
head worth two in the heel,' as the ould sayin' is ?" 

K 



194 PADDY THE SPORT. 

Here, a laugh from the squire's guests turned the 
scale in Paddy's favour. 

" 1 give you up, Paddy," said the master — " you're 
a sad dog — worse than Larry Lanigan." 

" Oh, murther ! Is it Lanigan you'd be afther com- 
parin' me to/' said Paddy. " Why, Lanigan is the 
complatest dhrinker in Ireland — by my sowkins — 
more whiskey goes through Lanigan than any other 
wormm the county. Is it Lanigan ? Faiks, that's the 
lad could take the consait out iv a gallon o* sper'ts, 
without quettin' it. Throth, Lanigan is just the very 
chap that id go to first mass every momin' in the year, 
if holy wather was whiskey." 

This last reply left Paddy in possession of the field, 
and no further attack was made upon him on the 
score of his love of " the dhrop ;" and this triumph on 
his part excited him to exert himself in creating mirth 
for the gentlemen who formed the shooting party. 
One of the company retailed that well-known joke 
made by Lord Norbury, viz. when a certain gentle- 
man declared he had shot twenty hares before break- 
fast, his lordship replied, that he must have fired at 
n my. 

Here Paddy declared he thought " it was no great 
shootin' " to kill twenty hares, for that he had shot 
seventy-five brace of rabbits in one day. 

'' Seventy-five brace !" was laughed forth from 
every one present. 

'' Bad loock to the lie in it," said Paddy. 
" Oh, be easy, Paddy," said his master. 
" There it is now ; and you won't b'lieve me ? 
^Vhy thin, in throth it's not that I'm proud iv it, I 



PADDY THE SPORT. 195 

tell you, for I don't think it was any grate things iv 
shootin' at all, at all." 

Here a louder burst of merriment than the former, 
hailed Paddy's declaration, 

" Well now," said Paddy, " if yiz be quiet, and 
listen to me, I'll explain it to your satisfaction. You 
see, it was in one iv the islan's aiFthe shore there," 
and he pointed seawards — '^ it was in one o* the far 
islan's out there, where the rabbits is so plinty, and 
runnin' so thick that you can hardly see the grass." 

'' Because the island is all sand," said his master. 

" No, indeed, now ! — though you thought you had 
me there," said Paddy, very quietly. " It's not the 
.-sandy islan' at all, bud one farther out.'' 

"Which of them?'' 

" Do you know the little one with the black rocks ?" 

"Yes." 

" Well, it's not that. But you know '' 

" Arrah ! can't you tell his honor," said a peasant 
who was an attendant on the party, to carry the 
game, "■ can't you tell his honor at wanst, and not 
be delayin' " 

Paddy turned on this plebeian intruder with the 
coolest contempt, and said, '^ Hurry no man's cattle ; 
^et a jack-ass for yourself — " and then resumed — 
" Well, Sir, bud you know the islan' with the sharp 
headlan' '' 

" Yes." 

'' Well, it's not that either, but if you " 

" At this rate, Paddy," said the Squire, " we shall 
»ever hear which island this wonderful rabbit bo- 

K 2 



196 PADDY THE SPORT. 

rough is in. How would you steer for it after pass- 
ing Innismoyle ?" 

" Why, thin, you shud steer about Nor- West, and 
when you cleared the black rocks you'd have the san- 
dy islan' bearin* over your larboard bow, and thin 
you'd see the islan' I spake av, when you run about 
as far as " 

"Phoo! phoo!" said the squire, "you're dream- 
ing, Paddy ; there is no such island at all." 

*^ By my sowl, there is, beggin' your honor's par- 
don." 

" It's very odd I never saw it." 

'^^ Indeed it's a wondher, sure enough." 

" Oh ! it can't be," said the squire. '^ How big is 
it ?" 

" Oh ! by dad, it's as big as ever it'll be," said 
Paddy, chuckling. 

This answer turned the laugh against the squire 
again, who gave up further cross questioning of Pad- 
dj", whose readiness at converting his answers into 
jokes, generally frustrated any querist who was hardy 
enough to engage with Paddy in the hope of puzzlhig 
him. 

" Paddy," said the squire, " after that wonderful 
rabbit adventure, perhaps you would favour the gen- 
tlemen with that story you told me once about a 
fox ?" 

" Indeed and I will, plaze your honor," said Paddy, 
*' though I know full well, the divil a one word iv it 
you b'lieve, nor the gintlemen wont either, though 
you're axin' me for it — but only want to laugh at 
me, and call me a big liar, whin my back's turned." 



PADDY THE SPORT. 197 

" Maybe we wouldn't wait for your back being 
turned, Paddy, to honour you with that title." 

" Oh, indeed, I'm not sayin* you wouldn't do it as 
soon fominst my face, your honor, as you often did 
before, and will agin, plaze God, and welkim " 

" Well, Paddy, say no more about that, but let's 
have the story." 

" Sure I'm losin' no time, only tellin' the gintlemen 
before hand that it's what they'll be callin' it a lie, 
and indeed it is ancommon, sure enough ; but you 
see, gintlemin, you must remimber, that the fox is 
the cunnin'ist baste in the world, barrin' the wran — ' 

Here Paddy was questioned why he considered the 
wren as cunning a haste as the fox. 

" Why, Sir, bekase all birds builds their nest with 
one hole to it only, excep'n the wran ; but the wran 
builds two holes an the nest, so that if any inimy 
comes to disturb it upon one door, it can go out on 
the other ; but the fox is cute to that degree, that 
there's many a mortial a fool to him, and by dad, the 
fox could buy and sell many a Chrishthan, as you'll 
see by and bye, whin I tell you what happened to a 
wood-ranger that I knew wanst, and a dacent man 
he was, and wouldn't say the thing in a lie. 

'' Well, you see, he kem home one night, mighty 
tired, for he was out wid a party in the domain, cock- 
shootin' that day ; and whin he got back to his lodge, 
he threw a few logs o' wood an the fire to make him- 
self comfortable, and he tuk whatever little matther 
he had for his supper, and afther that, he felt himself 
so tired that he wint to bed. But you're to undher- 
stan' that though he wint to bed, it was more for to 



198 PADDY THE SPORT. 

rest himself, like, than to sleep, for it was airly ; and 
so he jist wint into bed, and there he divarted him- 
self lookin' at the fire, that was blazin' as merry as a 
bonefire an the hearth. 

^' Well, as he was lyin' that-a-way, jist thinkin' o' 
nothin' at all, what should come into the place but a 
fox. But I must tell you, what I forg-ot to tell you 
before, that the ranger's house was on the bordhers 
o' the wood, and he had no one to live wid him but 
himself, barrin' the dogs that he had the care iv, that 
was his only companions, and he had a hole cut an 
the door, with a swingin' boord to it, that the dogs 
might go in or out, accordin' as it plazed them ; and 
by dad, the fox came in, as I tould you, through the- 
hole in the door, as bould as a ram, and walked over 
to the fire, and sat down forninst it. 

" Now, it was mighty provokin that all the dogs 
was out — they wor rovin' about the wood, you see, 
lookin' for to ketch rabbits to ate, or some other mis- 
chief, and it so happened that there wasn't as much 
as one individyial dog in the place ; and by gor, I'll 
go bail the fox knew that right well, before he put 
his nose inside the ranger's lodge. 

^' Well, the ranger was in hopes some o' the dogs 
id come home and ketch the chap, and he was loath 
to stir hand or fut himself, afeard o' freghtenin' away 
the fox ; but, by gor, he could hardly keep his tempec 
at all, at all, whin he seen the fox take his pipe afF 
o' the hob, where he left it afore he wint to bed, and 
puttin' the bowl o' the pipe into the fire to kindle it 
—(it's as thrue as I'm here) — he began-to smoke for- 



PADDY THE SPORT 







PADDY THE SPORT. 199 

ninst the fire, as nath'ral as any other man you ever 
seen. 

'^ *■ Musha, bad luck to your impidince, you long 
tailed blackguard,' says the ranger, ' and is it smok- 
in' my pipe you are ? Oh thin, by this and by that, 
if, I had my gun convaynient to me, it's fire and 
smoke of another sort, and what you wouldn't bar- 
gain for, I'd give you,' says he. But still he was 
loath to stir, hopin' the dogs id come home ; and ' by 
gor, my fine fellow,' says he to the fox, ' if one o' the 
dogs comes home, saltpethre wouldn't save you, and 
that's a sthrong pickle.' 

" So, with that, he watched antil the fox wasn't 
mhidin' him, but was busy shakin' the cindhers out 
o' the pipe, whin he was done wid it, and so the 
ranger thought he was goin' to go immediantly afther 
gettin' an air o' the fire and a shaugh o' the pipe ; 
and so says he, 'faiks, my lad, I won't let you go 
so aisy as all that, as cunnin' as you think yourself;' 
and with that, he made a dart out o' bed, and run 
over to the door, and got betune it and the fox ; and 
' now,' says he, ^ your bread's baked, my buck, and 
maybe my lord won't have a fine run out o' you, 
and the dogs at your brish every yard, you morodin' 
thief, and the divil mind you,' says he, ^jfor your 
impidence ; for sure, if you hadn't the impidence of a 
highwayman's horse, it's not into my very house, un- 
dher my nose, you'd daar for to come ;' — and with 
that, he began to whistle for the dogs ; and the fox, 
that stood eyein' him all the time while he was 
spakin', began to think it was time to be joggin' 
.whin he heerd the whistle, and says the fox to him- 



200 PADDY THE SPORT. 

self, ^ Throth, indeed, you think yourself a mighty 
great ranger now/ says he, ' and you think you're 
very cute, but upon my tail, and that's a big oath, I'd 
be long sorry to let sitch a mallet-headed bog-throtter 
as yourself take a dirty advantage o' me, and I'll en- 
gage,' says the fox, ' I'll make you lave the door soon 
and suddint ;' and with that, he turned to where the 
ranger's brogues was lyin' hard by, beside the fire, 
and, what would you think, but the fox tuk up one 
o' the brogues, and wint over to the fire and threw it 
into it. 

" ' I think that 'ill make you start,* says the fox. 

'^ ' Divil resave the start,' says the ranger' — ' that 
won't do, my buck,' says he ; ' the brogue may burn 
to cendhers,' says he, ' but out o' this I won't stir;" — 
and thin, puttin' his fingers into his mouth, he gev a 
blast iv a whistle you'd hear a mile off, and shouted 
for the dogs. 

" ' So that won't do,' says the fox. ' Well, I must 
thry another offer,' says he; and, with that, he tuk 
up th' other brogue, and threw it into the fire too. 

" ' There, now,' says he, *^ you may keep th' other 
company,' says he, ' and there's a pair o' ye now, as 
the divil said to his knee-buckles.' 

" ' Oh, you thievia' varmint,' says the ranger, ' you 
won't lave me a tack to my feet ; but no matther,' 
says he, ' your head's worth more nor a pair o' brogues 
to me, any day ;' and, by the Piper o' Blessintown, 
you're money in my pocket this minit,' says he ; and, 
with that, the fingers was in his mouth agin, and he 
was goin' to whistle, whin, what would you think, 
but up sits the fox an his hunkers, and puts his two 



PADDY THE SPORT. 201 

fore-paws into his mouth, makin' game o' the ranger 
— (bad luck to the lie I tell you). 

'^ Well, the ranger, and no wondher, although in a 
rage, as he was, couldn't help laughin' at the thought 
o' the fox mockin' him, and, by dad, he tux sitch a 
fit o' laughin', that he couldn't whistle, and that was 
the cuteness o' the fox to gain time; but whin his 
first laugh was over, the ranger recovered himself, 
and gev another whistle ; and so says the fox, ' By 
my sowl,' says he, ' I think it wouldn't be good for 
my health to stay here much longer, and 1 mustn't 
be thriflin* with that blackguard ranger any more,' 
says he, ' and I must make him sinsible that it is 
time to let me go ; and though he hasn't undher- 
stan'in' to be sorry for his brogues, I'll go bail I'll 
make him lave that,' says he, ' before he'd say spara- 
bles — and, with that, what do you think the fox done ? 
By all that's good — and the ranger himself towld 
me out iv his own mouth, and said he wouldn't never 
have b'lieved it, only he seen it — the fox tuk a lighted 
piece iv a log out o' the blazin' fire, and run over wid 
it to the ranger's bed, and was goin to throw it into 
the sthraw, and burn him out iv house and home ; so 
Avhin the ranger seen that, he gev a shout out iv him — 

'' ' Hilloo ! hilloo ! you murdherin' villian,' says he, 
" you're worse nor Captain Rock ; is it goin' to burn 
me out you are, ycu red rogue iv a Ribbonman ;' and 
he made a dart betune him and the bed, to save the 
house from bein' burned; but, my jevv'l, that was all 
the fox wanted, — and as soon as the ranger quitted 
the hole in the door that he was standin' forninst, 



K 3 



202 PADDY THE SPORT. 

the fox let go the blazin' faggit, and made one jump 
through the door, and escaped. 

" But before he wint, the ranger gev me his oath, 
that the fox turned round and gev him the most con- 
timptible look he ever got in his life, and showed 
every tooth in his head with laughin' ; and at last 
he put out his tongue at him, as much as to say — 
' You've missed me, like your mammy's blessin',' and 
off wid him !— like a flash o' lightnin'/' 



NATIONAL MINSTRELSY. 

BALLADS AXD BALLAD SINGERS. 



*' Give me the making of a people's halladt, and let who will enact 
their laws." — Fletcher of Saltonn. 

" Valdius oblectat populura, meliusque moratnr, 

Quam versus inopes renim, nugaeque canorae," — Hor. A. P. 



It is well remarked by Mr. Addison, in his justly 
celebrated paper on the ballad of " The Children in 
the Wood," of which Mr. Godwin has lately given 
us so admirable an amplification in his novel of 
" Cloudesley," that " those only who are endowed 
with a true greatness of soul and genius, can divest 
themselves of the little images of ridicule, and admire 
nature in her simplicity and nakedness" of beauty. 
^.Ve trust, therefore, that we shall not only be for- 
given, but commended by our most thinking public, 
for the zeal and diligence with which we have, ac- 
cording to the Horatian precept, devoted sleepless 
nights and days to the recov^ery of some of those pre- 
cious gems of taste and genius, which adorn what 
may, in the strictest sense, be termed '' our national 



204 BALLADS AND 

literature/' and which, according to the notion of the 
grave Scotch politician quoted above, moves and in- 
fluences the people, 

" And wields at will the fierce democracy," 
more than any other species of writing whatever. 

Notwithstanding the laborious researches of our 
countryman, Mr. Edward Bunting, and the elegant 
adaptations of Mr. Moore, we confess that we indulge 
in a pleasing belief that now, for the first time, most 
of the reliques which will be found embalmed in the 
following paper, are rescued from the chilling gripe 
of forgetfulness, and reserved as a KTrjfxa eg aet, a 
possession for ever, to the envy of surrounding na- 
tions, and the admiration of the world. 

Your ballad-singer, let us tell you, is a person 
of no despicable renown, whatever you, reader, 
gentle or simple, may think, aye, or sap to the 
contrary. It maybe that you rejoice in possessing 
the luxury of a carriage, and so, rolling along our 
metropolitan world, escaping the jar and jostle of us 
wayfaring pedestrians, by the sliding smoothness of 
patent axles and Macadam. You have heard but the 
distant murmur of the ballad strain, and asked per- 
haps in wondering tone, 

" What means that faint halloo?" 

or, haply, you are an equestrian exquisite, and your 
charger has taken fright at the admiring auditory 
thronging round the minstrel, and spared your fa- 
shionable ears nearly at the expense of your still 
more fashionable neck, starched into the newest 
stiffness : or you may chance to be a dandy of infe- 



BALLAD SINGERS. 205 

rior grade^ and only ride that homely yet handy 
animal, 'cleped, in the vulgar tongue, shanks' mare, 
and are forced to be contented with " the bare 
ground," consoling yourself for this contact with 
mere citizens, by staring every woman you meet out 
of countenance, and preserving yourself from the 
tainted atmosphere of the dross of humanity that 
surrounds you, by the purifying influence of a cigar. 
To each and all of you, then, we confidently affirm, 
tiiat you are not prepared to give any opinion on the 
subject, and we enjoin you therefore to a sacred si- 
lence, while we sing " strains never heard before" to 
the merry and hearty. You may, if you like it, 
go on reading this article, and enlighten your be- 
nighted understandings, or turn over to the next, and 
remain in your " fat contented ignorance " of the 
sublimity and beauty of our national minstrelsy. 

Your ballad-monger is of great antiquity. Homer 
himself, 

" The blind old man of Scio's rocky shore, 
The father of soul moving poesy !" 

sat by the way-side, or roved from town to town, 
and sang 

" His own bright rhapsodies." 

But if this be going too far back, and you are in- 
clined to tax us with affectation for so classical an 
authority for Bartle Corcoran's vocation, we shall 
jump over a handful of centuries, and bring you 
down '' at one fell swoop" to the middle ages, citing 
the troubadours and jongleurs as examples of the 
ballad-monger's craft. To be sure, all sentimental 



206 BALLADS AND 

young ladies will cry shame upou us at this, and 
think of L. E. L. and the Improvisatrice, and remem- 
ber the fatal fame of Raoul de Couci. But, gentle 
young ladies, start not — our ballad-singers are the 
true descendants of those worthies, the troubadours ; 
something the worse for the wear perhaps, just the 
least in the world degenerated, or so, like many ano- 
ther romantic thing of the same day. 

For instance, your gentle page oi fayre ladye is, in 
modern times, a pert servant-boy, with a snub nose, 
vying in brilliancy with the scarlet collar that over- 
laps his blue jacket. Your faithful bower-woman 
has rather a poor representative in the roguish petite 
maitresse of a French maid, who is, for all the world, 
like a milliner's doll, except in the article of silence. 
Your gallant knight himself, no longer bestrides a 
proudly-prancing war-horse, sheathed " in complete 
steel," with spear in rest, ready to " answer all 
comers" in the lists, at the behest of his ladylove 

No. Your warrior, now-a-days, is no longer a 

" gintleman in the tin clothes," as Jerry Sullivan de- 
scribes him, but a very spruce person, in superfine 

scarlet, ready to answer all invitations to dinner. 

Your warder, or warden, is, in fact, now a mere hall- 
porter, and the high-sounding " donjon-keep '-^no- 
thing more nor less than Newgate. 

And now, having, we think, successfully proved 
that your ballad-singer comes of an " ould ancient 
family," we trust we have influenced the aristocratic 
feelings of our readers in his favour, and hoping for 
a patient reading, we shall plunge directly into our 
subject, first asking pardon, for this somewhat lengthy 



BALLAD SINGERS. 207 

introduction, into which our anxiety for the reputa- 
tion of the ancient and respectable craft of ballad- 
singing has betrayed us. 

When the day begins to wane, and the evening air 
is fresh, (if any thing can ever be fresh in a city,) 
and people are sauntering along the streets, as if the 
business of all were over — of all, save the lamp*- 
lighter, he, the only active being amongst a world of 
loungers, skipping along from lamp to lamp, which, 
one by one, " start into light" with perspective regu* 
larity, telling of the flight of the '^flaming minister" 
up the long street before you — then, we say, is it 
pleasant to roam along the quays, for instance, and 
halt at the foot of each bridge, or branch off into 
Capel-street or Parliament-street, or proceed further 
westward to the more vocal neighbourhood of Bridge 
or Barrack-streets, and listen to the ballad- singers of 
all denominations that, without fail, are labouring in 
their vocation in these quarters. 

Music, they say, sounds sweetest upon water, and 
hence the reason, we suppose, of the ballad-singer 
choosing the vicinity of the river for his trade, and 
like that other notorious songster the nightingale, he, 
too, prefers the evening for his strains. Ballad- 
singers, to be sure, may be heard at all times of the 
day, making tuneful the corners of every street in 
the city, and moving the vocal air " to testify their 
hidden residence j" but, by the initiated in ballads, 
they are detected at once for scurvy pretenders. No 
ballad-singer of any eminence in his or her profes- 
sion, ever appears until the sun is well down ; your 
she ballad-singers, in particular, are all " maids that 



208 BALLADS AND 

love the moon/' and indeed the choicest amongst 
them, like your very fashionable people at a party, 
do not condescend to favour their friends by their 
presence, until a good while after the others have 
made their entree. 

The amateur in ballads well knows where he may 
expect to find good entertainment, just as one calcu- 
lates the sort of party he may expect to meet by the 
address on the card of invitation. Your amateur, for 
instance, would no more lose his time in listening to 
a performance in Merr ion- square, than an officer of 
the guards would go to a route in Skinner' s-row. 
No, no — Merrion-square is far too genteel for any 
thing good in the ballad line. But oh ! sweet High- 
street and Corn-market — Cutpurse-row, too, — (by 
the bye, always leave your watch and sovereigns at 
home, and carry your pocket handkerchief in your 
hat, when yovi go a larking in search of ballad min- 
strelsy,) — and so on to Thomas-street. Your despe- 
rate explorer, who, with a Columbian courage, pants 
for greater and more western discoveries, will push 
on to the Cross-poddle, (as far as which point we 
once ventured ourselves, and fished for city trout in 
the Brithogue,) double the cape of Tailor's-close, turn 
the corner of Elbow-alley, and penetrate the mysteries 
of Fumbally's-lane, rife in the riches of ballad lore, 
returning to the civilized haunts of men by the pur- 
lieus of Patrick 's-close. Golden-lane, and so on through 
Squeeze-gut-alley, until he gets into port— that is, 
Kevin's-port — and there, at the corner of Cheater's- 
lane, it is hard if he don't get an honest hap'orth of 
ballad. They are generally loving and pathetic in 



BALLAD SINGERS. 209 

this quarter, Kevin-street, as if the music of the 
region were, with an antithetical peculiarity, of a 
different turn from the hard-hearted saint whose 
name it bears. St. Kevin-street is endeared to us by- 
many tender recollections, and here it was that the 
iron entered our sole as we listened, for the first time, 
to the following touching effusion : — 

" Oh Jimmi-a. Jim-my I lOve yo a well, 
i Love you hetihei nor my tonguE Can tell- 
7 love you well but I dar not show it, 
I loVe you well but let no one kNow it." 

What a beautiful union of affection and delicacy in 
the last line ! — the generous confidence of a devoted 
heart, with the tender timidity of the blushing maid, 
shrinking at the thought of the discovery of her pas- 
sion to the multitude : with the sincerity of a Juliet, 
she openly avows her flame — 

*' I love you well," 

But at the same time wishing it to be, as Moore says, 

" Curtain'd from the sight 

Of the gross world," 

she cautiously adds, 

" But let no one know it." 

This is, perhaps, an inferior specimen of the ama- 
tory ballad, but as it is one of the early impressions 
made on our young imagination, we hope we may be 
pardoned for giving it place even before those of lof- 
tier pretensions : — 

" On revient toujours 
A ses premiers amourb." 

The ballad, though coming generally under the 



210 BALLADS AND 

denomination of Lyric poetry^ may be classified under 
various heads. First, in order due, we class the 
amatory ; then there are the political and the pole- 
mical ; though, indeed, we should follow, we are 
inclined to think, the order adopted in the favourite 
corporation phrase of " church and state," and so we 
shall arrange our ballads more fitly by giving the, 
polemicals the pas ; the order will then stand thus: — 

AMATORY, 

POLEMICAL, 

POLITICAL, 

PATRIOTIC, 

BACCHANALIAN, 

DESCRIPTIVE, 
and 

NON-DESCRIPTIVE." 
Sometimes, in the Amatory, the bewitching blan- 
dishments of the fair are pourtrayed with a force and 
vivid simplicity which Catullus might envy ; thus, in 
depicting the "taking ways" of Miss Judith O'Reilley, 
who had, it would seem, a penchant for leading soft- 
hearted youths " the other way," as Mr. Moore deli- 
cately expresses it, the minstrel describes the progress 
of the potent spell : — 

*' Oeh Judy Riley yoa use me viley. 

And like a child me do coax and decoy, 

Its myself thats thinkia while you do be winkin 

So soft upon me, you will my heart destroy." 

Again, the poet often revels in the contemplation 
of the joint attractions of his mistress's beauties and 
accomplishments ; and at the same time that he tells 
you she is 

" As lovely as Diania," 



BALLAD SINGERS. 211 

he exults in announcing that 

" She plays on the piania." 

While in the description of a rurial swain by his 
inamorata, we are informed that 

" Apollo's Gooldm hair with his could not compare 
Astonished were All the beho?<lders." 

Sometimes our ballad bards become enamoured of 
the simple beauties of nature, and leaving the ima- 
gery of the heathen mythology, of which they are so 
fond, and which they wield with a richness and faci- 
lity peculiar to themselves, they give us a touch of 
the natural, as will be seen in the following, " The 
Star of sweet Dundalk ;" and observe, Dundalk being 
a sea-port, with a very just and accurate perception 
of propriety, the poem has been headed with a ship 
in full saiL 




THE STAR OF SWEET DUND-ALK, 

" In beauteous spring when birds do sing, 
And cheer each meitle shade, 
And shepherd's sW^ains sztrnades the Planes, 
To find their lambs that stRayed." 

This novel application of serenading must strike 
every one with admiration. 

" nigh Roden's Grove I chanced to rove 
To fake a rur/al walk, 
when to my sight appeared in Whit© 
The star of Bii^eet dundalk." 



212 BALLADS AND 

The lady having, most luckily for the rhyme, ap- 
peared in white, the perambulating- lover addresses 
her ; and after having '^ struggled for to talk" to this 
most resplendent "Star of sweet Dundalk,"he assures 
her he is bewildered, and that his heart is bleeding, 
and thus continues : — 

" Your beauteous face my wounds encrase 
And SKin more white than chaLK, 
Makes me regret the Day i met 
The STar of swaet dundalk." 

But the lady, very prudently replies — 

Now sir if T would but cfnnply 
And give to you my HanD, 
Perhaps that you would prove untrue 
Be pleased to understand. 

How polite ! ! — Here she divides our admiration ; 
for we know not whether most to applaud her discre- 
tion or her good manners. At length he only requests 
to become her " slave, poor swain, and friend." This 
proposition is listened to, but still she is intent on 
*' minding her business as she ought to do," like the 
celebrated O'RafFerty, and insists on first " milking 
her cow;" after which we are favoured with this 
information : — 

" When she had done 

Then off we come 
and carelessly did walk, 

and slowly paced 

To her sweet pLace 
Convaynient to sweet Dundalk." 

She then brings him into her father's house, which 
is " as white as chalk," and (of course) " nigh hand 
to sweet Dundalk;" and we discover at last that he 



BALLAD SINGERS. 213 

has a warm shebeen house^ and a drop of comfort for 
the traveller : so our hero calls for a glass to drink 
the health of this " Star of sweet Dundalk/* and 
enable him, doubtless, to see her charms double, but 
she, still "minding- her business" O'Raflferty-like, 
hands him a glass, and very dutifully to her father, 
though, we regret to say, very unsentimentally to her 
lover, the aforesaid glass 

" She inark'd it up in chalk;" 

and as this must, at once, destroy all romantic in- 
terest in the " Star of sweet Dundalk," we shall say 
no more about a heroine that so unworthily degene- 
rates into an avaricious bar-maid. But, by way of 
countei-poise, we shall give an example of a " holier 
flame ;" and after the money-loving Dundalker, it is 
really " refreshing" to meet an instance proving the 
utter devotedness of the female heart, when once 
imbued with the tender passion. Can there be a 
more disinterested love than this } 

"Oh Thady Brady you are my darJin, 

You are my looking-glass from night till morning. 

I love you betther without one farcfin 

Than Brian Gallagher wid house and garden." 

What fitness, too, there is in the simile, " you are 
my looking-glass" — the dearest thing under the sun 
to a woman. 

In the POLEMICAL line, the ballad in Ireland is per- 
fectly national ; no other country, we believe, sin^s 
polemics j but religion, like love, is nourished by 
oppression ; and hence a cause may be assigned why 
the Roman Catholic population of Ireland enjoyed, 
with peculiar zest, the ballads that praised their per- 



214 BALLADS AND 

secuted faith. But of the many fatal results of the 
relief bill, not the least deplorable is the ^^ dark 
oblivion" into which this exalted class of composi- 
tion is fast passing away. We rejoice to rescue from 
the corroding fangs of time a specimen in praise of 
the Virgin Mary, and hitting hard at such ultra Pro- 
testants as busied themselves " in the convartin' 
line," for the good of their benighted brethren : 

The blessed Vergin that we prize 
The fairest fair above the skies 
On her the Heretics tells lies 

When they would make convArsions. 

But of the polemical, we candidly confess that we 
are but ill prepared to speak at large; whether it be 
that, unlike the gentle Desdemona, we do not " seri- 
ously incline," or our early polemico-ballad-hunting 
essays were not successful, we shall not venture to 
decide. But one evening, at the corner of Mary's- 
abhey — an appropriate place for religious strains — we 
heard a female ballad-hawker (the men, by-the-bye, 
do not deal in this line ; the Frenchman was right 
when he said a woman's life was taken up between 
love and religion) — and whether it was that we could 
not fairly h^ar the lady, in consequence of the win- 
dows of Ladly's tavern being open, and letting out, 
along with a stream of very foul air, some very queer 
air also, that was let out of a fiddle ; or that we 
chanced to fall upon an infelicitous passage in her 
chant, we cannot say, but the first audible couplet 
was 

Tran-a-sub-a-stan-a-si-a-ey-a-shin" 
Is de fait in which we do Deffind. 



BALLAD SINGERS. 215 

And this fairly bothered us. Such a jaw-breaker and 
peace-breaker as transubstantiation — quod versu 

dicere non est — actually done into verse ! ! We 

took to our heels, and this polysyllabic polemical 
gave us a distaste for any more controversial cantatas. 
In the POLITICAL line, no land abounds in ballads 
like our own sweet Emerald Isle. In truth, every 
Irishman is, we verily believe, by birth, a politician. 
There are many causes assigned for this ; and your 
long-headed philosopher could, no doubt, write a 
very lengthy article on that head. But it is not our 
affair at present ; suffice it, therefore, to say, poli- 
ticians they are, and the virus breaks out in divers 
and sundry ballads, varying in style and subject, ac- 
cording to the strength of the disease in the sufferer. 
Some abound in laments for Ireland's forlorn condi- 
tion, but many more are triumphant effusions to the 
honour and glory of the " men of the people." We 
remember one old dowager in particulai, rather thick 
in the wind, who wheezed out many a week's work 
in asthmatic praises of Richard Sheil and Daniel 
O'Connell, Esquires ; but, after the exertion of puff- 
ing out one line, she was obliged to pause for breath 
before giving the following one ; and a comical effect 
was sometimes produced by the lapses, as in the 
w^ell-known instance of the Scotch precentor. At 
last, when she did come to the burthen of her song, 
she threatened, with a significant shake of her head, 
which one eye and a bonnet, both black and fiercely 
cocked, rendered particularly impressive, that 

" They [the ■parliament) had better take care about what they aie at 
For Shiel is the lad that will give them the chat 
With a Ballyiiamona, eroo !— Ballynainona, eroo 1 
Ballynamona, eroo!— Brave ?hiel and OConnell for me !" 



216 BALLADS AND 

There was a Patagonian fair one of the craft, who 
patronised Mr. O'Connell in particular, always got 
drunk on the strength of his success, and generally 
contrived to have a long chorus or burthen to her 
song, and when, with some difficulty, she picked 
her way through the difficulties of articulation in 
each verse, it was very diverting to observe the com- 
placency with which she dropt into the chorus, and 
seemed to repose herself, as it were, upon its easy 
monotony, which ran thus : — 

" Consular och hone ! och hone 1 och hone I 
t'onsilkr och hone ! and och hone-i-o ! 
ConSillur och hone! och hone ! och hone ! 
And its you that can stand alone-i-o ! !" 

But the " Shan Van Vogh !" — was the grand popular 
effusion in the great agitator's praise, when he 
threatened to take the house of commons by storm 
at the first election. — Of this we may venture to give 
two verses : — 

" Into parliament you'll go, says the Shan Van Vogh, 

To extricate our woe, says the Shan Van Vogh ; 

Our foes you will amaze, 

And all Europe you will Plaze, 

And owld Ireland's now at AhCf 

Says the Shan Van Vogh, 

Our worthy brave O'Connell, says the Shan Van Vogh, 
To have you in we're longing, says the Shan Van Vogh ; 
Sure you we well have tried, 
And you're always at our side. 
And you never tuk abribe, 

Says the Shan Van Vogh.'' 

But the following is one which we cannot resist giv- 
ing in full, we vouch for its being ~a true attested 
copy; and those who do not like to read it, may 



BALLAD SINGERS. 217 

adopt the practice of the country schoohnaster when 
he meets a long word that proves a jaw-breaker^ 
id estj to ^' schkip and go on." 

O*C0NNELL*S FAREWELL MEETING IN THE CORN EXCHANGE. 
<' As O'Gonnell and Shells war convarsin about the rent, 
Jack lawless stepp'd in and asked him what news, 
Saying are you preparing to So in o Parlaraint. 
Where a loyal Catqolic he can'i be recused, 

The time is fast approaching whan Catholios will taA:e their sea^s ; 
No Laws can pravant tham Bruns-wieArers are deranSed 
In the Def ince of Britian their loyalty and aid was lent 
T/iis Conversation passed in the Corn Exchange. 

Brave O'Gorman Mahon spoke as the Association did begin, 

Saying GentlemEn i Pray don't think nie rude, 

In This mon^h of February how the bigots the will grinn 

Like Paul Pry Da.mel he drops in you think will he intrud. 

The Lawyers of the INIi/jistry they cant prevent his entry. 

We know a war wi^A hi/» They'll wage, 

In spite of tAeir Deo^terity we'll have religious liberty 

This concerSation passed in the Corn Exchange, 

Farewell Dearest Danyel Hibernia's confidential frind, 
Ourblemn Go along wid you «nto the british shore, 
Nobility and Gintery to Parliamint will you attind, 
Ziiewise be accompanied with The blessings of The Poor. 
Our foes within The house a* mnte as any mouse, 
To see The Agitator Triumphantly arranged, 

No or factious claTz shall daunt The people's man; 

This conversation passed in the Corn Exchange. 

The worthy's of HiAernia's He may fortune On those heroes smile, 
And every frind in Parlamint That does support the claims, 
Brave Grattan Plunket and Burdet Brave .^nglissy. 
We'll never forget this hero's memory in our brest Shall ever rEiu. 
Here's to maTchless iSTieel' and ga[lant S^eall, and Noble Dawson of 

Dnndalk 
The/oes q/" religious literty tha will assail 
For the rites o/ millions The contind, may God protect dear Dan 

our FrinD. 
Pray /or his Sa/e return to oald Irelanc? again," 

L 



218 BALLADS AND 

These are no contemptible specimens of the poli- 
tical, but they only bear on our " internal resources/' 
as the parliamentary phrase is^, and evidently were 
the work of the " secretary for the home depart- 
ment/' in ballad affairs. But be it known unto all 
men by these presents, that we have had our " secre- 
tary for foreign aifairs" also, and the political chances 
and changes of Europe have been descanted upon by 
the Thomas-street muses of our Balladian Parnassus : 
Bonaparte was the " God of their idolatry," and 
his victories have been the theme of their hope and 
triumph, ingeniously conveyed in drollery or sarcasm, 
as his downfal was of their most doleful ditties, of 
which we well remember the mournful burthen of 
one, 

'• From his throne, och, hocb, hone, 
Like a spalpeen he was hurled." 

Yet even in their ' flat despair,' they 

" Cast one longing, lingering look behind," 

and each verse of another cantata, we have often 
listened to with pensive delight, recorded his by-gone 
glories, although it was wailingly wound up with 
this dismal though euphonious couplet, 

" But he's gone over*ae» and the high mount-i-ayn-ya 
He is gone far away to the Isle of St. Helenia" 

we hope our readers properly appreciate the fertility 
of invention and boldness of execution, that produc- 
ed for the occasion so novel and so able an example 
of the callida junctura of Horace, upon which Bishop 
Hurd has written so much, as is evinced in this truly 
musical variety of the common-place word, moun- 
tain. 



BALLAD SINGERS. 219 

Subsequently, however, a strain of jubilee for the 
re-establishment of the Napoleon dynasty, was long 
and loudly, though perhaps somewhat prematurely 
indulged in ; and we well remember hearing the de- 
tail of anticipated glories, ^many a time and oft' in 
a certain song, whose exultant chorus, ' piercing the 
nights* dull ear,' promised great things to the droop- 
ing Bonapartists. 

'« When the young King of roome from the coort of Vianna 
Will bring his father back from the isle of St. Helanna !" 

As an example of the patriotic, we picked up a 
morgeau in the " west end," one evening while we 
stood amongst many admiring and apostrophizing 
auditors, which is quite too rich to give en masse to 
our readers; we would not surfeit them with the 
good things of the ballad world, and they must be 
content, therefore, with some extracts from the " bran 
new ballad," called by the way of a title, " TheWild 
Irishman," which a Herculean Hibernian, with a 
voice like thunder, was pouring from his patriotic 
throat; he commenced by informing his audience 
that 

" When God made the eowl of a wild Irishman 
He fiU'd him with love and creations wide span, 

And gev him perfictions that never is seen 
In statue he's matchless— an angel iu face. 

(our friend certainly was an exception) 
The invy of mankind in iligance and grace 
At foot ball and hurlin' agility's sons 
(And her daughters so fair, all as spotless a-s nuns) 

When victorious— all mercy— Oh, Erin the green." 

Erin the green's forlorn condition was very feelingly 
depicted in the two succeeding stanzas ; and fearing 
there was no human probability of her situation 



220 BALLADS AND 

being bettered^ the saints were thus characteristically 
invoked : 

" Oh St. Patrick, a cushla! St. Bridget asthore ! 
Colluni cuill O mavourneen your inaslAerimplore, 
To look down with compassion on Erin the green." 

This appeal to " the masther" is quite irresistible. 

But in this it will be perceived there is a mixture 
of the political mingled with the patriotic ; a tint of 
devotion to party, tinging the love of country. The 
poem having its birth in the Liberty, it is possible 
that the poet, influenced by the localities, wrought 
his verses as the weaver works his stuff, and so his 
production is shot, as the technical phrase is, with 
two materials, and reminds us of the alternate flicker- 
ing of green and red that we see in the national 
tabinet dresses of our fair countrywomen. 

Of the BACCHANALIAN, somc falsely imagine, " Pa- 
trick's day" to be an example ; English people, in par- 
ticular, suppose " Patrick's day," in words and 
music must be the heau ideal of an Irish song, 
whereas, in neither is it a happy specimen ; as for 
the words, there is amongst them a couplet that pro- 
nounces, at once, damning sentence against the whole 
composition. 

« And we will be merry 
And drinking of sherry. ^^ 

Bah ! sherry indeed ; no Irish ballad laureat ever 
wrote two such lines, it is the production of a bung- 
ler, especially when we consider that any but a 
thorough blockhead could have so easily rhymed it 
thus: 

'* And we will be frisky 
A drinking of whiskey 
On Patrick's day in the morning." 



BALLAD SINGERS. 221 

'' Garryowen/' that much superior air, which, in our 
opinion, ought to be the national one instead, is dis- 
figured, in like manner, by a word which grates harshly 
upon the ear of the connoisseur : 

" Then come my boys we'll drink brown ale 
We'll pay the reck'ning on the nail 
And devil a man shall go to jail 
From garryowen my glory." 

We confess we cannot bear this ale ; something ails 
us at the sound, and it disturbs our association of 
ideas : ale, at once, refers us to England ; and portly 
John Bulls and Bonifaces, instead of muscular Pad- 
dies, present themselves to our "mind's-eye:" it is 
a pity, for the other lines are good, particularly the 
third, which displays that noble contempt of the laws, 
so truly characteristic of our heroes of the south. 
But here follows a touch of the true Bacchanalian, in 
which our national beverage is victoriously vindi- 
cated :— 

" The ould ladies love coniac, 
The sailors aU brag of their rnm 
It's a folly to talk, Paddy whack 
Knows there's nothing like whisky for fun 
They may talk of two birds in a bush, 
Bud I'd rather have one in the hand, 
For if rum is the pride of the Sae 
'Tis whisky's the pride of our land." 

What a logical deduction is here drawn from a pro- 
verb, that is "somewhat musty," as our friend 
Hamlet says — "A bird in the hand is worth two in 
the bush." Argal, whisky is much better drinking 
than rum. The inference is as clear as ditch water. 
The bard next proceeds to exult in our superiority 

L 2 



222 BALLADS AND 

over other nations in the native tipple, which he thus 
felicitously illustrates : — 

" The Dutchman he has a big but 
Full of gin, and the munseers drinks port 
To the divil I pitch sitch rot-gut, 
For to drink it wouldn't be any sport 
"Tis the juice of the shamrock at home 
That is brew'd in brave Bacchus's still, 
Bates the world, and its of sweet Innishowen 
I wish that I now had my fill." 

Here is a happy adaptation of classical knowledge 
to the subject in hand ; Bacchus's still is a great hit. 

Burns himself indulges in a similar liberty, when 
he uses his national dialect to name the fount of 
Castaly : — 

" Castalia's burn, an' a' that." 

But, as the bacchanalian must be an uninteresting 
theme to our fair readers, we shall content ourselves 
with the specimens already given in that line, and 
hurry on to the next in order of succession, viz. de- 
scriptive. 

We Irish are fond of dilating on whatsoever subject 
we treat, (perchance, indeed, at this moment we are 
giving a practical example,) and in the descriptive 
line of ballad, there is *^ ample verge" for indulging 
in this national propensity, whether it concern places 
or persons, men or manners, town or country, mor- 
ning, noon, or night. As a specimen in the local line, 
a brilliant one exists in that far-famed ditty that so 
pathetically sets forth how, 

'' A Sailor coorted a Farmer's daughter 
That lived Concaynient to the Isle of Man." 



BALLAD SINGERS. 223 

Here, though with that native delicacy which al- 
ways characterises true genius, the name of the false 
fair one is withheld, her '^^ocal habitation" is consi- 
dered matter of importance ; and with admirable pre- 
cision it is laid down, as seamen say, in the most 
chart-like fashion, 

" Convaynient to the Isle of Man." 

An additional interest is thus excited for the he- 
roine, who must have been (as far as we could gather 
from our visit to Douglas, at the late regatta,) either 
a mermaid, or some amphibious charmer, whom, 
with much critical judgment, the poet has selected 
as the " decaver" of a naval hero. 

Another felicitous specimen exists in a very old 
and favourite ballad, giving '^ the whole full, thrue, 
and part'clar account" of how a certain highway hero 
fulfils his criewel fate. The description of the entire 
trial, including the examination of witnesses, is very 
graphically given ; and when sentence of death is at 
length pronounced against him, you are thus most 
afFectingly informed in the first person : — 

** When they did sintince me to Die, 
The judge and the Jury they riz a INIuinful ary ; 
My TindAer Wife she did roar and Bawl 
While thebittAer Tears from her Eyes did falJ, 
Oh ! the curse o' Jasus light an yez all !" 

When he comes to the gallows, he gives a very 
exemplary exhortation to '"'^the throng;" and with a 
sort of a predictive consciousness that he shall live in 
verse, though he must die in fact, he addresses to 
the multitude, viva voce, this posthumous appeal : — 



224 BALLADS AND 

" And now Vm dead, and let ray disgrace 
Be never threw in my Childher's face, 
For they are Young and desarves no blame 
Altho' their Father is come to Shame." 

This sudden adoption of the first person is, how- 
ever, by no means a singular species of metabasis ; 
on the contrary, we find it a favourite figure of speech 
in such compositions ; for example, in '^ Thamama 
Hulla ;" 

"I have heerd the town clock give its usual warning 
/ am asleep, and don't waken me." 

And again, in the far-famed " Fanny Blair." The 
victim of Fanny's false swearing, after giving this 
admonitory couplet to all " sportin' young blades " — 

" Beware of young women that folllys (follows) bad rules 
For that's why I'm cut off in the flower of my blume," 

concludes by very piously ejaculating, 

*' And now its your blessin dear parents 1 crave 
Likewise my dear Mother that did me consave." 
{He had, it would ieem, a supernumerary parent on this occasion. ) 

" And now I atn dead and laid in tha mould 

The Lord may have Mercy on my poor sinful Sotol !" 

The renowned " Bri^n O'Lynn" has been the hero 
of description to a great extent ; his apparel even has 
been deemed worthy of note. Few of our readers, 
we trust, have had their education so utterly ne- 
glected, as to be still in ignorance of the first stanza 
of this incomparable effusion : — 

" Brian O'Lynn had no breeches io wear, 
So he bought him a sheep-skin to make him a pair ; 
With the skinny side out and the woolly side-in, 
They are pleasant and cool, says Brian O'Lynn !" 



BALLAD SINGERS. 225 

But Brian is anxious to cut a figure in the world, 
and laments the want of that most necessary appen- 
dage to *^ ginteel clothin" — a watch: but how to 
come by it is the question. At last, Brian hits upon 
an eocpagement, (as a literary friend of our's says,) 
which, for originality of invention, leaves rail-roads 
and steam-carriages far behind. It is with satisfac- 
that we claim modest merit of first introducing to 
public regard and admiration the following inimitable 
stanza: — 

" Brian O'Lynn had no watch to put on. 

So he scooped out a turnip to make him a one ; 

He next put a cricket clane undAer the sAkin, 

Whoo ! they'll think it ii tickin', says Brian O'Lynn !" 

Rarissimus Briney ! What can surpass this ? 

But the personal attractions of the fair, form the 
most inexhaustible theme for the poet's fancy, and 
give a wider scope to his invention in the discovery 
of apt images : par exemple : — 

" Her waist is liaper, 

None is completer 
Like the tuneful nine or the lambs at play ; 

And Jier two eyes shinin 

Like rowlin diamonds, 
And her breath as sweet as the flowers in May." 

We cannot too much admire the richness and per- 
spicuity of this description : rich in the display of the 
lady's charms, which combine the united beauties of 
the '^ tuneful nine" with the innocent frolicksomeness 
of the ^' lambs at play ;" and perspicuous even to 
the agreeable fact that she has two eyes, and both are 
bright. 



BALLADS AND 

But we must not venture to trespass too far on thy 
patience, gentle reader. On this subject we could 
never tire of writing, nor should'st thou of reading, 
hadst thou but the felicity of being tinctured, like 
ourselves, with the true ballad-passion. But we 
must 

" Lure the tassel-gentle back again, "^ 

and therefore shall hasten to a conclusion for the 
present. 

The NON-DESCRiPT last claims our exemplifying 
notice, and indeed our memory abounds with illus- 
trations in point ; we shall, however, content our- 
selves with one which we look upon as choice, and 
deserving to be marked with three R's, as Dominie 
Sampson says, denoting the rarest excellence : — 

"The Rhyme for the Ram:" 

which rhyme is declared to be a mystery far beyond 
the poet's comprehension, hitherto undiscovered, and 
to be classed only with the philosopher's stone, or 
such arcana of nature. We have all heard of the 
difficulty of finding a rhyme for silver, which our 
countryman overcame at once by adducing childher as 
a satisfactory solution ; but the bard on this occasion 
soars to sublimer flights : — 

'« No one could discover 

From Calais to Dover, 

The house of Hanover and the town of Dunleer. 

Nor they who belie us, 

And freedom deny us, 

Ould Mr. M 's could never come near: 

For no Methodist preacher, 

Nor nate linen blacher, 

The keenest of teachers, nor the wisdom of man ; 



BALLAD SINGERS. 227 

Nor Joanna Southcoat, 

Nor FitGarild the pote (poet) 

Nor ivet yit wrote a fit rhyme for the Ram." 

What a wide range the muse has taken here in 
search' of this rhythmatical treasure ! In the depths 
of the sea, between Calais and Dover, she is too 
straitened : next she throws herself, with as little 
success, upon the munificence of the house of Bruns- 
wick, which, by the most perfect association of ideas 
in the world, reminds her of the town of Dunleer. 
The new light is next appealed to unavailingly ; and 
the wisdom of man very naturally reminds her of 
Johanna Southcote, who is surpassed in the climax 
by that still greater humbug, FitzGerald the pote. 

This, we fearlessly put forward, as the most bril- 
liant specimen of the non-descript in the world. 



THE END. 



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